By Victor Ochieng
Posted November 18th 2018
When it comes to diversity and inclusion in different institutions, Howard University seems to have taken the lead role in diversifying the medical field. The Association of American Medical Colleges reports that HBCU is the leading University in sending African-American applicants to U.S. medical schools. 118 students pursuing their undergraduate degrees became U.S. medical school applicants in the 2017-2018 academic year. And it is being applauded for having a system that encourages diversity and inclusion.
The University boasts of success that it has had over the years. It is not only one of the most coveted Universities in the U.S, but one of the most accomplished. On their site it is described as having been, “Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced four Rhodes Scholars, 11 Truman Scholars, two Marshall Scholars, one Schwarzman Scholar, over 70 Fulbright Scholars and 22 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States.”
The number that the University has produced in the 2017-2018 academic year for medical school, is more than any other academic institution across the country. The University has made efforts to ensure they offer a fair playing field for students from all races; and currently it has over 300 Black students enrolled at the University’s College of Medicine. Howard’s initiatives like their Pre-Freshman Summer Enhancement Program, have made it easier for African-American students to pursue careers in the medical field. Through these initiatives, students have the opportunity to go through intensive courses that enhances their biology and chemistry knowledge and also make them aware of the different career paths in medicine.
President Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick said in a statement, ““Howard University prepares more African-American pre-med students to apply to medical school and enrolls the most African-American students in our own esteemed medical school because we are committed to our mission to diversify the workforce with an infusion of talented, well-prepared scholars. Despite these strides there is still a significant underrepresentation of Black and Hispanic medical students enrolling in school. The number of Black male applicants is down from 1976, but we are encouraged and honored to contribute as the institution of choice for many students pursuing careers in medicine.”
He also said, “Over the past 150 years, Howard University has perfected a winning formula to develop talented students into skilled surgeons. Pursuing a career in medicine is a calling that I want more of young people of color to realize can become their reality.”
Howard University has made great efforts in emphasizing the importance of STEM and exposing people of color to it early enough. The University recently partnered with Verizon Innovative Learning Program; organizing workshops in the Washington, D.C. area that cover STEM for young