Embodying a peaceful and humble nature is Bayhealth Family Medicine Physician Kandis Samuels-Leutzinger, MD, MPH. As an African American physician leader in Delaware, she is planting seeds of inspiration for those she cares for, mentors, and teaches. Dr. Samuels is a family medicine physician specializing in obstetrics and gynecology. She’s also the associate director of Bayhealth’s Family Medicine Residency Program.
In celebration of Black History Month, Bayhealth is presenting stories of team members and providers in a series called, “Black Excellence that Inspires.” A collection of these stories will be shared on Bayhealth’s social media pages. Join us as we honor and celebrate these inspiring individuals.
As a young girl, Dr. Samuels said there was a seed planted inside her – it was a passion to help those who needed it most. She channeled her passion and set her sights on becoming a medical doctor.
In high school, she started looking for ways to grow that seed within and began volunteering at then Wilmington Hospital. She knew that people needed to be treated well and at the most basic level, should be treated with fairness, kindness, and respect no matter your race.
Following high school, she joined the Delaware Air National Guard and became a flight medic. Dr. Samuels later worked as a missionary in Baltimore, Maryland, focusing on after-school youth programs, food-insecurity and poverty. “I learned the importance of advocacy and that there is truth in the saying that a small group of individuals can change the world,” said Dr. Samuels.
Dr. Samuels lives by the golden rule of treating others as you’d want to be treated. “It’s important to give others space to talk without passing judgement,” she said. “Truly listening to them, wherever they are in their lives.” She wants to be authentic with her patients and give them the space and time to be heard.
As the associate director of the Bayhealth Family Medicine Residency Program, she wants to represent herself well and make choices that inspire others, particularly her black peers. “I want to be an example that achievement is possible, no matter the adversity or circumstances. Challenges shape us. We must be willing to persevere.” And she’s thankful for those who have paved the way before her and inspired her despite the hardships she’s experienced along the way.
Her impact extends well beyond the walls of her practice and Bayhealth. Dr. Samuels is the Young Physician Coordinator for the National Medical Association’s First State Chapter. She works with fellow black physicians to eliminate inequalities in healthcare. This year, she participated in speaking engagements that focused on the health of the black community battling COVID-19.
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