Dr. Earl Campbell III and his family are family goals by all standards. They are not your average Black family and they trump the stereotypical frame that society projects onto Blacks. Campbell III is a gastroenterologist. His father, Earl Campbell Jr. MD, is a pulmonologist and his mother, Hope Campbell, is a pharmacist. Campbell’s sister, Laurielle Campbell, JD, is an attorney and his wife, Thomia Campbell, is a dentist. To top it, Campbell III is the first Black Advanced Endoscopy fellow from Yale University.
The family migrated to the United States and then finally settled in Nashville. According to Campbell III, Nashville is his hometown. The celebrated doctor initially wanted to be a veterinarian and enrolled at Howard University to pursue Veterinary Medicine for his undergrad. His plans took a different turn after stints in a research lab influenced him to branch into medicine.
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The death of his aunt from breast cancer during freshman year cemented his decision to branch into medicine. He had several internships with reputable institutions like John Hopkins while at school. His parents were the best role models for him because their achievements showed him that he could also be whomever he aspires to be regardless of his skin color.
“My parents have always been my role models, and I loved that they never pushed us to follow a certain career path,” Campbell told BOTWC.
After completing medical school, Campbell III knew he wanted to specialize in internal medicine and was torn between Cardiology, Pulmonology and Gastroenterology. Per his interview on Surviving Medicine, he went with the latter.
It took 12 years of post-college medical training to get to where he is now but Campbell III said it’s all worth it because as he rightfully captioned one of his Instagram posts, “Magnify your skills so you don’t have to modify your dreams.”
As a family man who got the best foundation from his home, he now knows it’s okay to dream big and work assiduously to achieve those dreams and that is exactly the kind of parenting he and his wife Thomia are giving to their two lovely children.
“We want our kids to pursue what they are passionate about because the road can be long and arduous, but it’s so much sweeter if you truly enjoy what you are doing,” he said.
He added that it is a blessing that he gets to continue his family legacy and his children can grow up knowing they can be whatever they want to be.
The family photo taken during Campbell III’s graduation from Yale at the height of the pandemic in June brought smiles to many faces. “What do you call a Gastroenterologist, Pharmacist, Pulmonologist, Dentist, and Attorney?…Family.” That was the caption for the photo.
Interestingly all the four men in Campbell III’s family have the same first, middle and last name. His grandfather is Earl V. Campbell Sr. His father is Earl V. Campbell Jr. He is Earl V. Campbell III and his son, Earl V. Campbell IV.
Campbell III and his family continue to serve as an inspiration to many Black families and his goal is to mentor as many people of color as he can. He has already started doing that through his social media handles and with some of his colleagues and organizations that fight for diversity and inclusion in the field of medicine.