AMA Minority Scholars Award Helps Drive Diversity In Healthcare

AMA Minority Scholars Award

Nearly 40 percent of the U.S. population is made up of individuals from a minority racial descent.

However, only nine percent of U.S. physicians are represented by African-American, Native American, Hispanic, American Indian, or other ethnic groups.

Efforts, such as ethnically diverse peer groups, that aim to include and engage minority students in the field of medicine, have been essential to eradicate this problem and thus improve the diversity of the medical workforce.

The AMA Foundation, in collaboration with the AMA Minority Affairs Section and Pfizer Inc., has taken a great stride in promoting minority inclusion and education with its Minority Scholars Award.

The AMA Foundation is “committed to increasing the number of minority physicians to better reflect the needs of our increasingly diverse society,” and offers medical school tuition assistance through its scholarship program.

Not only does the program promote diversity in medicine, but it alleviates debt for promising minority students who more often come from financially struggling families. Applicants consist of minority medical students with an interest in becoming a primary care physician, and winners are chosen based on academic achievements, leadership activities and community involvement.

The AMA’s efforts to increase diversity are intended to help students as well as the nation’s healthcare system as a whole. Studies have shown the beneficial outcomes of physician diversity, including increased patient satisfaction, ensured culturally competent care, and increased access to care for underserved populations.

Minority groups have historically found it difficult to find access to quality healthcare, but minority physicians are more likely to provide health services to the communities they come from. From med school to professional practice, physicians who surround themselves and work with peers and colleagues from a variety of backgrounds often have greater confidence and comfort in treating an equally diverse range of patients.

2015 scholarship recipients:

Sherifatu Abu, Tufts University School of Medicine

Janetta Arellano, University of Washington School of Medicine

Baaba Blankson, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine

Bethany Carlos, Medical University of South Carolina

Evelyn Escobedo Pol, PRIME-UCLA, David Geffen School of Medicine

Dagoberto Estevez Ordonez, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Amber Gardner, University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix

Kenyetta Givans, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University

Jasmine Holmes, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Jose Miguel Juarez, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Nadia Kamagate, Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine

Kendrick Kennedy, Medical University of South Carolina

Imani McElroy, Charles R. Drew University/David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Karen Mendez, New York Medical College

Emeka Okafor, The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine

Maria de Fatima Reyes, Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California

Franklyn Rocha Cabrero, University of Illinois College of Medicine

Isabelle Sanchez, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine

Mary Tate, Harvard Medical School

Jorge Torres, The David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA

Denise Kimbrough, Medical University of South Carolina – Dr. Richard Allen Williams & Genita Evangelista Johnson /Association of Black Cardiologists Scholarship

Samantha Hendricks
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