theGrio’s 100: Dr. David Bell, fighting for young men’s health

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Who is Dr. David Bell?

Dr. David Bell, 51, is an adolescent medicine physician who serves as the medical director and chief physician of the Young Men’s Clinic in New York City. He is also director of a school-based program treating students at three middle schools and two high schools in upper Manhattan. He’s on the faculty of Pediatrics and Public Health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

The mission of the Young Men’s Clinic is to serve the men of the community and to train and mentor the next generation of health professionals. As the medical director since 1999, and along with colleagues, he provides low-cost primary care services to young men ages 14- to 35-year-olds with a focus on sexual and reproductive health.

Dr. Bell is also a researcher who has produce numerous publications on adolescent medicine and health. At the school-based clinic, he has seen over 6,000 patients in 33,000 visits a year.

He enjoys spending time with his family and raising his fifteen-year-old son.

Why is he on theGrio’s 100?

Growing up in Port Arthur, Texas, he realized early on in life and in his career that adolescent and young adult men were not as connected to health care as females were.

Dr. Bell works tirelessly promoting the need for young men to take better care of themselves. In his work at the clinic, he treats all men openly and equally, regardless of sexual behavior or identities. He is a strong advocate for the right of young men to have access to high quality and respectful services.

He’s been a champion for young men’s health, receiving several honors and awards, and has been featured on MTV, BET, CBS, NPR, and National Geographic Taboo.

Locally, he’s involved with the advisory board of New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg’s Young Men’s Initiative. Nationally, he is helping to create a checklist for healthcare providers regarding young men’s health.

Internationally, he has worked in collaboration with pediatricians to increase awareness and improve the quality of care to adolescents in Uganda.

What’s next for Dr. Bell?

Dr. Bell wants to continue to reach out to young men in his community. “[I hope to] see the projects [rise] above to their destiny,” he says.

For more information about the Young Men’s Clinic please visit their website at