The health care field is ripe with opportunities, and a recent not-so-small donation is just one example of efforts to encourage minority students to work in medicine.
The GE Foundation is providing a $2.3 million grant to National Medical Fellowships, a nonprofit organization focused on improving the health of low-income and minority communities by increasing the representation of minority physicians.
With the grant, the Primary Care Leadership Pipeline program is being created, where 38 students from medical, nursing and physician assistant programs are assigned to community health centers in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Nashville, and Jackson, Miss. In this one program, the students will complete 200 service learning hours, and have opportunities for leadership development, mentoring, and networking.
It’s a hands-on experience that shows the need for primary care physicians but also the challenges that physicians face when working in community health centers. The nation’s 8,000-plus community health centers have a key role in caring for low-income patients, serving about 23 million people annually.
It’s nice to see TV shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” making sure minorities are seen working in medicine. But in reality, the need for minorities at hospitals, community health centers, and other medical facilities is significant. As students and potential students, you can look for ways to take advantage of programs like this one, focused on minorities.