"I participated because I wanted to represent black people, I wanted to show us in different aspects of how maybe a lot of the general community may view us," Dr. Amanda Little-Richardson said

By Robyn Merrett
July 13, 2020 03:00 PM

Dr. Amanda Little-Richardson of Netflix's Lenox Hill is opening up about the importance of highlighting Black stories in the health care space.

Duringa panel hosted by Grey's Anatomy's Chandra Wilson, Kim Raver and Greg Germann, the real doctors of the docuseries Lenox Hill opened up about representation in the medical field, the importance of health care workers today and how the hit drama series compares to the real lives of medical professionals. In PEOPLE's exclusive clip, Dr. Little-Richardson explained that she joined the series with the hope of showing Black people in a different light.

"I participated because I wanted to kind of represent three things really clearly: I wanted to represent Black people, I wanted to show  us in different aspects of how maybe a lot of the general community may view us," Little-Richardson shared. "I wanted to show Black families, my personal families, our relationship and how cohesive we are and loving and supportive."

Dr. Little-Richardson also explained that she wanted to highlight female health care workers.

"I wanted to show women in medicine and how we are strong and at the forefront. ... We're 50 percent of medical classes now," she said.

On Lenox Hill, Little-Richardson completed her OB-GYN residency while dealing with her own pregnancy. She said that she hopes the show also raises awareness on the "disparity that continues in maternal health for Black women across socioeconomic differences."

As of last year, the pregnancy-related mortality ration for Black women was four to five times higher than it was for White women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The doctors of Lenox Hill

"Awareness is key," Little-Richardson explained. "You have to identify the problem to have the solution."

"The more people that are aware of the problem — practitioners and general public — the more we can come up with solutions and people can advocate for themselves in the clinics, in the delivery space for their rights."

"That was my number one goal for participating, hopefully that's being achieved," Little-Richardson added.

Later in the panel, Dr. John Boockvar shared that he hopes the show helps paint a better picture of medical professionals in general.

"The field has changed. Our results are better, we're tied to our patients longer. I lost my dad to cancer 10 years ago and as a physician, that treating physician showed me no empathy or compassion — and that's just terrible. So, I've been through this personally and professionally. I have four children and I've been married for 22 years, we treat everybody like it was my wife or my child," he said.

Dr. Amanda Little-Richardson

"This is why I love Lenox Hill the documentary. I think we want to show a different aspect of medicine, we want to reiterate to the world that there are compassionate doctors out there who care for you and your family," Little-Richardson added.

The eight-episode series — which was filmed before the coronavirus crisis — follows four real doctors at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City as they grapple with the highs and lows of their personal and professional lives while working on the frontlines of America's healthcare system.

The show, created by Ruthie Shatz and Adi Barash, delves into the lives of brain surgeons David Langer and Boockvar, emergency room physician Mirtha Macri and Chief Resident OB/GYN Little-Richardson, as they work with their patients and deal with the emotional and complex world of medicine.