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Oakwood University Enters Agreement to Increase Physician Diversity

Oakwood University is partnering with Ross University to increase the number of African-American students pursuing medical careers.

Last week, Oakwood, which is an HBCU, signed an agreement with Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) to increase diversity among U.S. physicians. 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.

Qualified Oakwood students who earn full acceptance into the medical school will be eligible to receive a scholarship covering full tuition for their first semester.

“African-American doctors are woefully underrepresented in the physician workforce, leading fewer African Americans to see a doctor,” said RUSM Dean and Chancellor, William F. Owen, Jr.

“This has significant negative healthcare outcomes in communities already prone to high rates of chronic diseases. Working with Oakwood and other HBCUs, using novel student engagements, validated support programs and senior-level commitments to success, we’re working to address that long overdue challenge to increase the diversity of our nation’s physicians.”

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.

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.

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