Comeback to the Pulse of Perseverance on Daily Blast Live

At a glance, you would never know that these three doctors had to overcome extremely difficult pasts. From dealing drugs to dealing with drug addicted parents, plus surviving the streets. The trio is fighting against stereotypes and hoping to inspire young black men through their bookPulse of Perseverance.

The three met at Xavier University of Louisiana. They bonded over their pasts and vowed to have better futures. The friends overcame obstacles and finished medical school. Now the young doctors want black kids to see that athletes and entertainers are not their only examples.

Joining us are authors and doctors, Dr. Joseph Semien Jr. MD and Dr. Pierre Johnson MD.


Erica Cobb: Gentlemen, it is such a pleasure and a true honor to have you guys here. Joseph, let’s start with you. You have overcome some pretty tremendous hardships. Tell us a little bit about that.


Joseph Semien Jr. MD: I’m born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. I had to put up with a lot of violent crime. As time took, I started involving myself in selling drugs in the streets.

But it was in 1996 when my cousin was murdered, that things took a different turn for me. I always did pretty well in school and I knew at that point that I needed to make some changes.

Those changes led me to pursuing the goals that I had deep inside of me from the beginning.


Erica Cobb: Pierre, let me ask you because you have a very similar background. What put you on the path to become a doctor when it seemed like such an unlikely path?


Pierre Johnson MD: At the time, The Cosby Show was the most family thing on. It was the only thing of black excellence that was on TV. So I was like, well hey, I could be a doctor and have a family and see patients in the house and do other things like Heathcliff Huxtable.


Erica Cobb: Joseph, what made you decide to go into medicine?


Joseph Semien Jr. MD: I started to pursue medicine because in my heart I felt like I could help a lot of people. And then I met Max and Pierre and when we bond together, I knew there was no turning back from that point.


Erica Cobb: I always say everyone is deserving of the comeback that they’re willing to earn. So what would you tell those who believe that they can’t overcome the odds, and have their comeback or pursue their dreams?


Joseph Semien Jr. MD: Well, one thing that we hound on and cause of perseverance is that failure is not an option. When people talk something negative or say something negative to you, use that as a way to motivate yourself.


Erica Cobb: For more information and a copy of the book Pulse of Perseverance, go to

Thank you, doctors.


Joseph Semien Jr. MD: Thank you.


Pierre Johnson MD: Thank you so much for having us.