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According to, Urology is defined as “the scientific, clinical, and especially surgical aspects of the study of the urine and the genitourinary tract in health and disease.”

Now if there was a definition for who’d you want helping you if said area gave you any issues, that’d be Dr. Charles Modlin.

Modlin is an urologist, kidney transplant surgeon, the director of the Minority Men’s Health Center and Executive Director of Minority Health at Cleveland Clinic.

Not to mention, there are only 17 African-American transplant surgeons in the United States and he’s one of them. Plus, he’s the only African American transplant surgeon in Northeastern Ohio.

The accomplished surgeon began his medical journey at Northwestern University where he received a degree in chemistry before going on to graduate from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in 1987. The next six years would be spent as a resident at New York University Medical Center where he honed his craft before heading to Cleveland in 1993.

What began as a three year fellowship studying different aspects of transplant surgery; lead to a staff position at Cleveland Clinic in 1996 where his remarkable career with the institute kicked off.

Undoubtedly, Modlin is a prolific surgeon and physician – but what really sets him apart is his dedication to ending healthcare disparities within the African- American community.

He explained in an interview with WEWS News Channel 5:

“Because African Americans are at greater risk for developing health care disparities, I think we need to be more vigilant in terms of trying to prevent Diabetes, hypertension, [and] other conditions… If we can manage [these conditions] in patients in the community, we can actually prevent the onset of kidney disease.”

Thus, in 2003 he organized the Cleveland Clinic’s first Minority Men’s Health Fair which led to the development of the Minority Men’s Health Center – just one item on his long list of accomplishments and accolades.

His list of achievements is lengthy but where did his passion begin? It started in Indiana, where a young teen who loved to play the trumpet as a kid, began assisting his ill grandma after she was placed into a nursing home. He explained to, “My mother moved my grandmother, who was in her 80s, into our house for a while, and I helped take care of her. Later on, we had to put her into a nursing home. My mom would go visit her every day and take us with. I’d help take care of her, get her water, [and] take her to get lunch.”

Luckily for the world of medicine, Modlin’s fondness of caring for his grandmother directed him to surgical tools over trumpet valves.

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Shifting Society: Dr. Charles Modlin  was originally published on