The Morehouse School of Medicine and CommonSpirit Health, a health system created by the alignment of Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health as a single ministry in 2019, have announced a ten-year, $100 million initiative aimed at developing and training more Black physicians, including a commitment of $21 million over two years in seed funding from the partners themselves.
To that end, Morehouse and CommonSpirit will create a joint undergraduate and graduate medical education program to educate and train the next generation of culturally competent health clinicians and researchers, with the goals of ensuring that an additional three hundred Black medical students annually complete their residency training and supporting a pipeline of students recruited from communities that historically have suffered a shortage of healthcare providers. In support of those goals, the initiative will establish five regional campuses and graduate medical education programs in at least ten markets in partnership with CommonSpirit healthcare facilities.
According to Morehouse, of the nearly 22,000 students entering U.S. medical schools in 2019, only 1,626 were Black and only 619 were Black males. "This statistic is alarming for many reasons, not the least of which is the impact on patient care," said MSM president and dean Valerie Montgomery Rice. "Studies show that Black patients have better outcomes when treated by Black doctors."
"We are laying the foundation for patients to have more access to Black clinicians and for Black medical students and graduates to gain community-based experience that they need to be successful in their work," said CommonSpirit president and CEO Lloyd H. Dean. "Our initiative also will create a pathway for healthcare organizations across the nation to follow and share our learnings, a vital part of our work."