In order to care for a more racially diverse U.S. population, it is critical to have a physician workforce that reflects that diversity. In the December 1 issues of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a Medical News and Perspectives piece highlights the decline in the number of black males enrolling in medical school in 2014 compared to 1978, in contrast to the increase in black female enrollees during the same time period. The article summarizes suggested interventions, including offering advanced placement and enrichment courses across the spectrum from elementary through high school and offering programs to help minority students successfully transition into college. One such successful program in Baltimore involving Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine faculty, Medical Education Resources Initiative for Teens (MERIT), is highlighted. The Department of Medicine currently supports MERIT and MERIT can be designated as a United Way recipient in the current campaign.

MERIT blurb

It's also important for medical schools to reach out to underserved neighborhoods in the community so that minority children will be exposed to medicine as a career option, said Nivet. In Baltimore, for example, several physicians from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the University of Maryland School of Medicine serve on the advisory board for Medical Education Resources Initiative for Teens (MERIT), a program that offers 7 years of academic support and mentoring from sophomore year of high school through college to minority teens interested in medical careers (http://www.meritbaltimore.org). Students in the MERIT program attend weekly academic enrichment programs, receive mentoring and are placed in summer internships at hospitals and laboratories.

-Sherita Golden, Executive Vice Chair

For the full JAMA article, click here: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2473489&utm_source=silverchair+information+systems&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=master%3Ajamalatestissuetocnotification12%2F01%2F2015#Long-termStrategiesforSuccess

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