The Tiger Gene
The Tiger Gene
Ep. 12: David Patterson
52 minutes Posted Oct 24, 2021 at 1:00 pm.
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Ever wonder what it’d be like to grow up the youngest of 20 black kids in rural Kentucky, in a four-to-one white-majority county governed by Jim Crow law; the only one in the family born in a hospital? Then be told that if you worked hard and “kept your nose clean”—you just might become assistant manager at the local Seven-Eleven? Then as the only black kid in your school—graduate Valedictorian? Then excel at a Vanderbilt undergrad and med school…collecting award after award along the way? Then go on to be one of the most sought after and respected internists in not just the Nation’s Capital but the entire country—with a Who’s Who patient list of movers and shakers?

If so, you’ll love our special guest this week:

David Patterson, MD, shares how overcoming adversity was the key to his success … and how he enjoys nothing more than trying to assist other young black men to embrace STEM education and overcome the many obstacles that still bedevil African-Americans.

David created the Alice and V.K. Patterson Scholarship for Vanderbilt medical students, named after his parents. To learn more about the scholarship and the man behind it, visit