Legislation Seeks to Enhance the Reach of Historically Black Medical Schools

New legislation introduced in Congress would provide $1 billion to increase the number of Black doctors in the United States. Currently, just 6 percent of all physicians in the United States are Black.

The Expanding Medical Education Act aims to “tackle the lack of representation of rural students, underserved students, and students of color in the physician pipeline in order to reduce mistrust in doctors and health care institutions among marginalized communities, thus narrowing the gap in health care.

The legislation would encourage recruiting, enrolling, and retaining Black students in medical schools and help fund programs for schools that mostly serve students from marginalized backgrounds, including the nation’s four historically Black medical schools. The four HBCU medical schools are Howard University in Washington, D.C., Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, and the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles.

“Communities of color and those living in rural and underserved areas face significant barriers to health care,” said U.S. Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, who introduced the bill in the Senate. “Medical students of color and those from rural areas are more likely to practice in the communities they’re from, but in many of these places, there are limited pathways to enter the medical profession. We need to diversify our physician pipeline and change the disparity in representation. This bill will help get us there.”


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  1. While I applaud this effort, I do believe it should be expanded to include all universities. Not every Black student will have the opportunity to attend one of these prestigious universities. A true effort would be open to students to attend the university of their choice.Thank you.

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