(Carson, CA) – Sept. 10, 2019 – Hispanics comprise 18 percent of the U.S. population yet represent only 5 percent of U.S. physicians. In an effort to increase diversity in the physician workforce, California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) and Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) announce an agreement to help more Hispanic students attend medical school.
The agreement was signed Sept. 10 at CSUDH’s campus by Thomas Parham, CSUDH president, Michael Spagna, CSUDH provost, and William F. Owen, M.D., FACP, RUSM dean and chancellor. The partnership creates an educational pathway program for CSUDH’s graduates to study medicine at RUSM. Qualified students who earn full acceptance into the medical school will receive a scholarship for first semester tuition at the RUSM campus in Barbados.
CSUDH is a Minority Serving Institution (MSI) and Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) that is recognized nationally for increasing college access and success for students of color. The university consistently ranks in the top 100 universities across the country granting degrees to Latinx and African-American students.
“We are pleased and excited to join RUSM in addressing the paucity of black and Latinx medical students and practicing physicians,” said Parham. “Considering the changing demographics of the U.S., in addition to the increasing numbers of specific minority health disparities, increasing the number of providers can effectively improve healthcare overall and specifically in those communities most affected. Although the issue of underrepresentation of culturally different people in healthcare has long been a problem, this approach of MSIs partnering with RUSM is novel and will undoubtedly be successful.”
“We are excited to partner with CSUDH in this important effort to increase the number of Hispanic and Latinx physicians,” said Owen. “The lack of a diverse physician workforce negatively impacts healthcare outcomes in Hispanic communities and communities of color that are typically prone to high rates of chronic diseases. We’re working to address that long overdue challenge to increase the diversity of our nation’s physicians by partnering with HSIs and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), using novel student engagements, validated support programs and senior-level commitments to success.”
RUSM is an International Member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. As part of its continued commitment to addressing diversity, RUSM’s parent company, Adtalem Global Education (NYSE: ATGE), signed on to the HBCU Partnership Challenge created by the Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus, pledging to invest in creating strategic collaborations with HBCUs and working to increase diversity in key workforce sectors. Over the past year, RUSM has announced five similar agreements with minority serving institutions, including Charles R. Drew University, Dillard University, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Tuskegee University and Saint Peter’s University.
Having recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, RUSM’s 14,000-plus diverse alumni practice medicine throughout North America and across all specialties, including a high percentage of graduates who enter the in-demand field of primary care. More than a quarter of RUSM students identify as black or Hispanic, with RUSM earning a 96 percent USMLE Step 1 first-time pass rate in 2018. RUSM also achieved a 92 percent residency attainment rate for first-time-eligible 2018-2019 graduates, and of the 647 RUSM medical students who attained residency in March of 2019, 82 were black and 61 were Hispanic.