Car Mechanic Turned Doctor At Age 47 Addresses Shortages Of Black Doctors

Carl Allamby made a HUGE career change — going from running his own auto repair shop to graduating from medical school at age 47. 

What We Know: 

  • An East Cleveland native, Allamby was in the auto repair business for more than 25 years. Everything changed when in 2006 he decided to pursue a business degree to help with his growing auto businesses. 
  • In order to graduate from Ursuline College, he had to take a biology course that he kept putting off until it was the only thing standing between him and his degree. When he finally enrolled in the class, he was inspired by his professor, Dr. Micah Watts, to go into medicine.
  • “He just lit up when he walked into the room,” Allamby told the Plain Dealer. “After the first hour of class, I was like, ‘This is what I want to do. I have to go into medicine.’ It was like a light switched on.”
  • Allamby decided from there to pursue his childhood dream of becoming a doctor. After earning his business degree (with a 3.98 GPA to match), he attended Cuyahoga Community College to take the necessary science courses and then earned a second undergraduate degree from Cleveland State University.
  • Before attending Northeast Ohio Medical University in 2015, he made his biggest move yet — he dissolved his auto repair business and sold everything off in a day. 
  • “It was like, ‘Finally, I am free of this and I can go after something I’ve always wanted,’” Allamby told the Plain Dealer.
  • His big sacrifices paid off. Not only did he get stunning grades on every course he took, he was even appointed to serve as the student representative on the NEOMED Board of Trustees by former Ohio Governor John Kasich.
  • Allamby is now completing his three-year residency in emergency medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Akron General Hospital.
  • With his great reputation, he hopes to encourage other black people to join the medical field, as well as provide a familiar face with black doctors in the field. 
  • Although 13% of the U.S. population is black, less than 6% of medical school graduates are black, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.
  • “There are so many times throughout the different hospitals where I will walk in and (a black patient) will say, ‘Thank God there’s finally a brother here,’” Allamby said. “I think you remove a lot of those barriers when there is a person there who looks like you.”
  • “When I speak at a junior high or high school, I tell the kids, ‘Hey, if you are interested in medicine, reach out to me because I will help you as much as I can,’ ” Allamby told the Plain Dealer.
  • His influence has definitely reached close to home. Allamby’s entire family is working to be a part of the medical profession. His 23-year-old son, Kyle, is a firefighter who is pursing a paramedic degree. Kyle’s twin sister, Kaye, is studying to be a registered nurse. And Allamby’s wife is a physical therapist.

Congrats to Allamby for his inspirational journey!