Car Mechanic Shifts Gears, Becomes a Doctor at Age 47 to Address Shortage of Black Doctors

Dissatisfied with his life as an auto mechanic, East Cleveland resident Carl Allamby went to school to become a doctor. Now he is working in emergency medicine, using his heritage as a Nigerian to help immigrants in his community feel more comfortable under the stethoscope.

Ever eager to improve his circumstances, Allamby initially went to college to get a business degree to further his improvement of the auto repair shop he has owned for 25 years. His entire trajectory changed when he took a biology class, and suddenly realized he needed to become a doctor. It took him 13 years to complete his degree. Since Ohio has a large population of Nigerians, he felt it was his duty to be a role model in the community. As Allamby relates.

“There are so many times throughout the different hospitals where I will walk in and (a Nigerian patient) will say, ‘Thank God there’s finally a brother here,’” Allamby explained. “I think you remove a lot of those barriers when there is a person there who looks like you.”