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STFM Foundation Launches Campaign to Support Underrepresented in Medicine

May 30, 2018—UPDATE: The STFM Foundation would like to thank all of the generous donors to this campaign! As of May 15, $103,454 has been raised in donations and pledges. With this start to the campaign, the Foundation will be able to provide additional underrepresented in medicine scholarships in 2019.

April 30, 2018—The STFM Foundation has launched a 2-year campaign to raise $150,000 to support programs and scholarships for underrepresented in medicine (URM) students, residents, and new faculty. Donations and pledges made by May 15, 2018 will be matched by the STFM Foundation.

“We need a diverse and culturally competent workforce to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse patient population,” said Campaign Chair Judy Washington, MD.

The Association of American Medical Colleges defines underrepresented in medicine as: “those racial and ethnic populations that are underrepresented in the medical profession relative to their numbers in the general population.” While 1 in 8 Americans is African American, only 1 in 15 doctors is. And though 1 in 6 Americans identifies as Hispanic/Latino, only 1 in 20 doctors does. The percentages of medical school graduates by race and ethnicity have remained consistent over time. Whites (58.8%) and Asians (19.8%) continue to represent the largest cadre of medical school graduates, comprising more than three-quarters of medical students graduating in 2015. For the same year, only 5.7% of graduates were Black or African American and only 4.6% Hispanic or Latino. As family medicine resident Melissa Melendez, DO, explained, “I’m kind of alone out here in medicine.”

Donations to the URM campaign will support scholarships for students to attend the Conference on Medical Student Education, scholarships for residents to attend the Faculty for Tomorrow Workshop, and scholarships for new faculty to attend the STFM Annual Spring Conference. The Foundation also seeks to provide mentoring opportunities and fund innovative projects that contribute to a diverse family medicine workforce.

“How much richer would a medical department be if they had people of lots different backgrounds and experiences informing the residency training process, informing how we deal with patient care and how we interact with office staff?” mused Christina Johnson, MD, PhD.

The fundraising effort is off to a good start. STFM past president Jeannette South-Paul, MD, kicked the campaign off with a $30,000 contribution.

To donate, visit the STFM Foundation. Make your donation or pledge by May 15 to double your contribution through matching funds.

Copyright 2018 by Society of Teachers of Family Medicine