ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Dr. KMarie King is the new chair of surgery at Albany Medical Center. Her tenure makes her the first Black female chair of surgery at an academic health science center.
“That was one of the attractions for coming here. 30 percent of Albany is people of color. And I want our department to really engage and make sure that we’re meeting their needs,” King said.
For Dr. King, that comes with addressing the needs of the hospital’s patients. Particularly, patients of color.
“The data is compelling. And increasingly we are seeing that there is a wide disparity among non-whites and people of color,” King said.
Dr. King admits getting to where she is now wasn’t easy. Though she said she always knew reaching this height in her career was a part of her destiny.
“It speaks volumes to see yourself in a leadership role and I get emotional thinking about this,” King said.
King said her emotions come from the barriers she’s toppled and the glass ceiling she’s helping to shatter.
“Growing up you don’t see yourself. It makes it feel like you can’t be that person. So, it’s important for me to do well and represent this community,” King said.
While people may notice her race when she walks through the door, she said people will remember her for her credentials and what she plans to bring to the hospital.
“There are many Black girls, Asian girls, all sorts of young girls, looking at me and my success and saying, ‘Oh, I can do that,’” King said.