Inspiring Tomorrow’s Leaders

The purpose of Doctor for a Day is to provide outreach to youth of color in the greater Seattle area to inspire and encourage middle school and high school students of color to consider medicine or other healthcare careers. Run almost entirely by UW School of Medicine students, Doctor for a Day events are made up of hands-on stations such as teaching physical exam skills, patient interviewing techniques, and suturing.

Executive Leadership
Estell Williams, MD
Executive Director

I was born and raised in Oakland, California. I am the youngest of seven siblings, raised by a single father and the first in my family to attend college. After attending Xavier University of Louisiana, a historically black college and university (HBCU) for undergrad I had to transfer my junior year of college due to Hurricane Katrina. I graduated and was ultimately accepted into medical school at the University of Washington. Here in Seattle I completed my medical school education, residency training in general surgery and I am now faculty in the Department of Surgery, where I serve as Assistant Professor of Surgery. Through the school of medicine I act as the executive director for Doctor For A Day (DFAD) program. My passion is in healthcare workforce diversity, ecosystem programming to increase the number of underrepresented minority students in medicine and healthcare careers.


This program is fundamental to showing K-12 students from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds the vast array of careers that they can pursue. These students are the future and will change the face of medicine and we deliver health care. We are so thankful to have supporters who have allowed us to increase the exposure of underrepresented students within the Seattle and Greater Seattle region to STEM and healthcare. Our focus on elementary, middle and high school students is critical to increasing underrepresented students in health professions. Research shows that without intervention in elementary school, underrepresented students may lose interest in science and math by their teens and discount their abilities in those subjects before finishing high school.

Early socialization and achievement experiences can have a substantial impact not only on the pursuit of STEM and health careers but on community health outcomes. A diverse health profession workforce leads to improvement in health care, access to providers and health facilities, and equitable health for all patients.

We envision a world that embraces the diversity of our communities and that diversity be reflected in our healthcare providers. By ensuring underrepresented students are exposed to health careers and supported although their path, we will have a profound impact on the number of health providers serving in underserved communities and conducting research to help eliminate health disparities and address social determinants of health that disproportionately affect communities of color. 

Leadership: We seek to be leaders in novel ways to attract, support and retain K-12 students on the path to health careers. We also seek to show them through example how to be leaders in their communities to address health issues that disproportionately affect their families and communities.

Equity: We strive for equitable representation of students of color in health professional and allied health schools locally and nationally.

Inclusiveness: We champion inclusiveness of all marginalized groups who are adversely affected due to disparities in health care and seek to have representation of all voices, especially those oft at the fringes of society and suffering a greater burden of disproportionate health care.

Anti-racist: We recognize the historical foundation on which much of medicine was constructed that has created institutions that minimize or negate the experiences of people of color. We seek to build a new foundation of anti-racist, decolonized healthcare education that incorporates a critical lens on education and builds strong thinkers to explore new ways to deliver health care that improves care for everyone.

Our goal in 2019-2020 is to increase our capacity to reach more students, provide more robust curriculum and programming and track our students’ long-term successes.”

Dr. Estell Williams, Executive Director

If your school or program is interested in sponsoring a Doctor For A Day program, please contact us.

For more information about a Doctor for a Day program near you, please check the Student National Medical Association Facebook page for upcoming events.