We aim to increase access for talented and motivated African American, Hispanic and Latino students to achieve their career potential in medicine and support their return to underserved communities to mitigate the shortage of clinicians.
The African American, Hispanic and Latino communities have long experienced inequality in educational opportunities. These inequities are attributed to many factors including economic barriers, limited community resources, underfunded for schools, and more. As a result, underrepresented students who aspire to become doctors face significant obstacles on the pathway to their goals. This is reflected as a lack of diversity in medicine, which in turn lowers the overall quality of care for patients.
Studies have shown that racial and ethnic differences and cultural barriers between physicians and patients do influence physicians‘ communication, decision making and overall quality of care.
These educational barriers greatly impact students’ chances of success which, is reflected in today’s medical school acceptances. Although the number of underrepresented students that apply to medical schools has increased by 80%, the acceptance rate remains fairly stagnant.
The disparity in wealth by race in the United States is one of the root causes of this problem. Underfunded, underrepresented communities are ill-equipped to provide their students with the necessary educational opportunities, mentorship, and resources to succeed.
Disparities among medical school acceptances have led to a significant lack of diversity in the medical field. Our organization seeks to tackle this problem space by providing underprivileged students the necessary resources to succeed.
“I certainly wouldn’t be in the position that I’m in if it weren’t for mentors at every step of the way. We as black male doctors need to do more to provide mentorship.
We can’t pull up the ladder on those coming up behind us. We need to make sure that ladder is there and we’re helping people up the ladder.”
Alden M. Landry, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Harvard University
Physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, MA
We will begin by working with students in Massachusetts and plan to expand to serve students from underserved communities nationwide. The Pathway Initiative is working hard to prevent further decline in black and brown enrollment in medicine and in certified clinicians of underserved communities. The lack of representation in the medical field leads to further severe healthcare disparity in distressed already marginalized communities.
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