Florida-based Ross University is collaborating with Dillard University in Louisiana to increase the enrollment of African American students opting to study medicine in Ross’ School of Medicine (RUSM).
Qualified Dillard students who earn full acceptance into the medical school will be eligible to receive a scholarship covering full tuition for their first semester, and will spend their first two years of medical school at the RUSM campus in Barbados.
The decision was taken to address the negative health outcomes in communities across the country as a result of disproportionately low numbers of African American doctors.
“We are pleased to partner with Dillard University to provide a prescriptive path to address our nation’s health care disparities and create a medical workforce that truly looks like America,” Dr. William F. Owen, RUSM dean and chancellor, said in a statement.
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the proportion of African-American students at medical schools has only slightly increased from 5.6 percent in 1980 to 7.7 percent in 2016.
Last year, RUSM had more than 80 African American graduates, compared to an average of eight African-American graduates at U.S. medical schools nationwide.
RUSM’s parent company, Adtalem Global Education, has also signed on to the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Partnership Challenge, created by the Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus to increase diversity in the workforce.
Earlier this year, the university entered similar agreements with the Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, and Tuskegee University to increase diversity in medicine.