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AAMC meets with leaders of historically black med schools

During National Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Week, AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., met with leaders of historically black medical schools to explore how the association can continue to partner with them to improve the nation's health care system.

Attending the meeting were the deans and presidents of Meharry Medical College, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, and Howard University Health Sciences. Also attending was Louis W. Sullivan, M.D., former secretary of Health and Human Services. During the discussion, the group expressed the need for support of minority institutions that understand and are committed to the care of disadvantaged populations. More than 50 percent of the African Americans who receive doctoral degrees in medicine, dentistry, and the biomedical sciences graduate from these four institutions each year.

"It is important to acknowledge the vital role historically black medical schools play in educating and preparing future physicians to meet the evolving needs of an increasingly diverse and aging population, and providing critical health care for underserved Americans," Dr. Kirch said. "By working together with these institutions, we can continue to address some of the key health care challenges that currently face our country."

Dr. Wayne J. Riley, president and CEO of Meharry Medical College and chairman of the board of directors of the Association of Minority Health Professions Schools (AMHPS), welcomed Dr. Kirch and the AAMC leadership team's expressed "commitment to better understand the unique challenges and strongly support the historic mission of the HBCU medical schools as well as dedication to increase diversity in medical education and advance health care equity in the United States."

"We will continue to work with our AAMC colleagues to diversify the applicant pool; strengthen service to applicants and medical students; and support medical school faculty and administration, including those on HBCU medical school campuses," Riley said.

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