Among all the variables that serve as inspiration, there are two undeniable factors that influence who we become and what we do in life. The first is the community we grow up in: the people, our neighbors and families, and our habits and culture. The second is the environment: the schools and churches, the types of jobs and opportunities available, and even the access to healthy foods and doctors.

As you might already know, these factors also play a major role in determining the health of our societies, and today’s guest has made it his lifelong mission to tip the scales of his community towards health and vitality.

Dr. Michael G. Knight is an Assistant Professor of Medicine, board certified in Internal Medicine and Obesity Medicine, and the Patient Safety Officer at The George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates. He is also the President and Founder of the Renewing Health Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to educate, equip, and empower urban communities to improve their well being, while working to eliminate ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in health.

He has served as President of the Student National Medical Association, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar, and has received numerous accolades such as being named one of the Top 40 Under 40 Leaders in Health by the National Minority Quality Forum and one of Top Healthcare Professionals Under 40 by the National Medical Association.

And despite all the accolades, Dr. Knight approaches every challenge with the humility and passion of a life-long learner. Certainly, a valuable lesson for all of us.

Show Notes
  • (00:02:22): With all these responsibilities, what is a typical day like for you?
  • (00:04:05): Do you have a system to keep track of your time?
  • (00:05:02): How growing up in the Bronx shaped the person Dr. Knight is today
  • (00:08:05): Did you always know you wanted to be a doctor?
  • (00:10:42): The impact of Oakwood University, an HBCU, on Dr. Knight
  • (00:13:28): How Dr. Knight became the President of the Student National Medical Association
  • (00:17:57): Learning to be a great public speaker
  • (00:19:04): What accomplishments were you proud of as President of SNMA?
  • (00:20:36): What is your take on the decreasing numbers of African American males in medical school?
  • (00:27:00): The work of the Renewing Health Foundation
  • (00:32:15): What were some challenges in starting a non-profit?
  • (00:36:23): Are you satisfied with the work that the Renewing Health Foundation is doing?
  • (00:37:24): What advice would you give anyone interested in starting their own non-profit?
  • (00:38:44): As the hypothetical health czar of the United States, what issues would you tackle first?
  • (00:42:48): Any issues you are working on currently that you are particularly passionate about?
  • (00:44:16): Do you set goals for yourself?
  • (00:45:18): What is your philosophy on leadership?
  • (00:49:34): Any advice for anyone starting intern year?
Selected Links


Music by Lee Rosevere – Sad Marimba Planet from

“We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community…. Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.”

– Cesar Chavez