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Chicago's Amazing Black (FEMALE) Medical Doctor!

They say nothing good comes out of Black Chicago and especially Engelwood (a south side community in Chicago) that led the nation in murders for several consecutive years. Engelwood for over 30 years has been a community where dreams got deferred...violence, crime and drug dealing ran rampant. Just as the rose grew from the concrete, so did Derrick Rose, NBA all-star and a very few others like him rose and bloomed from the concrete of Englewood. 

Yes, only a very few have made it out of Englewood. One of those few is LaMenta "Sweetie" Conway. LaMenta was born and raised in Chicago's Englewood community. She survived the vicious gang wars of the early 1990's where the murder rate in Chicago was around 700 - 900 every year. As the Disciples, Vice Lords and Stones killed each other over gang and drug turf in Englewood, LaMenta made up in her mind she wanted to be somebody even in the midst of death and destruction.  

As a child LaMenta "Sweetie" Conway wanted to be a medical doctor. She wanted to help people, she wanted to heal people, she wanted to make a difference, but how when her environment on a daily basis is telling her - her dream of being a medical doctor is impossible? It was through prayer and grit that LaMenta made up in her mind she was going to be a medical doctor.

She graduated from DePaul University (undergrad) and earned her Master's in Public Health w/ concentration in Biostatistics and Epidemiology from the University of Illinois.

LaMenta attended Rush Medical College with a 3 year old, a 2 year old, and a 6 month old baby all while being a loving wife and raising a family.

LaMenta worked hard in medical school and by her sophomore year she became president of the Student National Medical Association. LaMenta graduated from Rush Medical College receiving the prestigious David Jones Peck Award as an outstanding African American student (David Jones Peck 1826-1855, was the first African American to receive a Doctor of Medicine Degree from an American medical school). 

LaMenta "Sweetie" Conway fulfilled her dreams of becoming a medical doctor. She endured amazing odds in medical school and residency of which many resign from because it's so rigorous. Dr. Conway completed her residency program at the University of Illinois.

LaMenta has been a medical doctor for over 19 years! She's an Attending Physician. Dr. LaMenta "Sweetie" Conway is also board certified in both Pediatrics and Internal Medicine with over 10 years of teaching experience at top academic hospitals in the Midwest.

"...she is affectionately called Sweetie which is a childhood nickname that has followed her from the streets to the suites. From the sidewalks of Englewood to hospital floors and boardrooms". 

LaMenta "Sweetie" Conway MD, has been featured on various television and radio shows. She's won numerous medical, social and community awards for her passion for at-risk youth/young adults. It was her passion for at-risk youth/young adults that pushed her to found I AM ABEL FOUNDATION, a non-profit organization which serves as a mentoring organization for at-risk youth/young adults. Dr. Conway founded the I AM ABEL FOUNDATION to also introduce inner city at-risk youth to careers in STEM, Business and Ecology. I AM ABEL FOUNDATION continues to uplift inner city at-risk youth/young adults in Chicago. 

I AM ABEL FOUNDATION also has a flagship program called the Urban Bridges Medical Mentoring Program. Its primary focus is to raise up the next generation of physicians. The Urban Bridges Medical Mentoring Program features a hugely comprehensive medical preparatory program that helps prepare their Chicago area students to become physicians through a comprehensive and accelerated seminar curriculum while also pairing each mentee student with Chicago's best and brightest Attending Physicians across a broad range of specialties. Each physician is personally committed to the foundation's goal of nurturing and preparing Chicago's future doctors who will meet the need of providing critical access to care in the forecasted physician shortage of 2025 that will disproportionately affect vulnerable populations and people of color. 

The Urban Bridges Medical Mentoring Program provides focused scholarly support and critical academic advising so that students know and understand the complex steps required to navigate the sometimes tortuous pathway to medicine. "We follow each student from our coveted pinning ceremony until they earn their short white coat as medical students. Our #1 goal is to change our community from the inside out and to raise up the next generation of compassionate, competent and excellent physicians" 
- Dr. LaMenta "Sweetie" Conway.    

Students of the Urban Bridges Medical Mentoring Program are also mentors. Many of the students are American Redcross certified instructors. They promote the message of nonviolence while teaching Chicago area students CPR at no cost. It's called 100 hearts program. Save a life - don't take one.

On June 10, 2017, Dr. LaMenta "Sweetie" Conway will be taking several students from the Urban Bridges Medical Mentoring Program to Costa Rica through their international immersion program called Urban Bridges International Medical Scholars Program. Students will stay six whole weeks in Costa Rica shadowing physicians and mastering Spanish and teaching CPR in Spanish to high school Costa Rican students. Urban Bridges International Medical Scholars will also facilitate a community health fair. It's part of their outreach to share vital knowledge and skill while helping their own student mentees gain second language fluency that will help care for Latino patients in the United States. 

On June 28, 2017, Urban Bridges International Medical Scholars will be heading to Haiti on a humanitarian mission for one whole week, this is done multiple times per year. Please click the below link to view the Urban Bridges International Medical Scholars Program:  

As you can see LaMenta "Sweetie" Conway MD is Chicago to the bone. She represents the very best of Chicago no matter race, ethnicity or's people like Dr. Conway that makes Chicago the city that works! 

Chicago is fortunate to have Dr. LaMenta "Sweetie" Conway, she's spreading her BLACK GIRL MAGIC across the city of Chicago. If you desire to know more about Dr. LaMenta "Sweetie" Conway or desire to have her speak at your event, click the below links:

written by: jim allen