The phrases “We need more Black doctors” and “Black doctors matter” are often emphasized, but this viral story exemplifies why. 

On Twitter, psychiatrist Dr. Barra Madden shared how representation in medical spaces saves lives.

“Girl came in with stroke like symptoms and needed a MRI,” Madden tweeted. “She had a lace front wig on with metal pins GLUED down and couldn’t take it off. Neurologist, nurses, everyone freaking out because they didn’t know what to do…”

While no one else knew how to handle the urgent matter, Dr. Madden stepped in to help her receive the MRI she needed. After snagging rubbing alcohol, she was able to take off the lace and wig.

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“She is doing well,” Madden shared. “I’ll look at the MRI tomorrow given that it wasn’t completed before my shift ended. But she is doing well, minor deficits.”

As Madden’s story has been reaching more eyes, the doctor has been stressing the fact that her knowledge as a Black woman is how she was able to hop in and save the day.

“I agree, education is key. I only knew what to do because I am familiar with this type of hairstyle, but that is not everyone’s experience,” she responded to a Twitter user. But let me tell you, she had that wig glued down so well, it took patience and a lot of alcohol.”


The viral story turned into a thread of Madden further explaining the situation, people sharing their own stories of Black and POC doctors being heroes, and people sharing resources for non-Black doctors.