Michael G. Knight

// Health Care Crusader // MED ’12 // 27 //

Barely out of medical school, Michael Knight already is taking on the diseases that he saw strike family and friends as a boy growing up in the Bronx.

As he started his internship at New York-Presbyterian Hospital last year, Knight created the nonprofit Renewing Health Foundation. Working mainly with African-American churches in his old neighborhood, Knight and a few community volunteers participate in health fairs and give talks addressing diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney disease. Those conditions are particularly prevalent among African-Americans because of genetics, socioeconomic status and other factors.

While a student at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve, Knight served as national president of the Student National Medical Association, an organization of minority students. Working with the Boys and Girls Clubs in Cleveland, local members of the association mentored young people after school with programs on health and safety.

Knight recently won election to a two-year position with the National Medical Association, which represents more than 50,000 African-American doctors. He will serve as lead chair of the section representing fellows, residents and early-career physicians.

He is aiming for a career in endocrinology, focused on diabetes, metabolic disease and obesity. Watching people in his community suffer from those diseases inspired him to go into medicine and battle health-care disparities.

Serving patients in the inner city as a clinician and an educator is part of his career plan, along with research. —RM