Monday, January 30, 2012

Tour for Diversity in Medicine, Aetna Foundation Launch Bus Tour to Attract Minority Students to Medicine

Aetna Foundation Press Release
Jan. 27, 2012, 9:00 a.m. EST

-- Doctors, Dentists to Visit Five Historically Black Colleges in South to Advise, Mentor Future Health Care Providers --

HARTFORD, Conn., Jan 27, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Tour for Diversity in Medicine, a new initiative from several young Boston- and Chicago-based physicians, has revved up for its inaugural bus tour in February to take 11 doctors, dentists and medical school students from minority populations to five historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the South to offer a full day of premedical enrichment activities to the schools' students.

Made possible with a $210,000 award from the Aetna Foundation, Tour for Diversity in Medicine aims to provide college students of color with a wide range of information and advice to plan for careers in medicine and dentistry and ultimately diversify the health care profession. Although minority populations comprise more than 26 percent of the U.S. population, African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans combined represent only about 6 percent of practicing physicians and 5 percent of dentists.

Alden Landry, M.D., an emergency room physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and co-director of Tour for Diversity in Medicine, said, "Our goal is to increase interest in health care as careers for students from minority populations and help them overcome perceived barriers to medical and dental school, such as high tuition costs, long training and a challenging application process. By offering workshops with established health care practitioners from similar backgrounds to theirs, we believe we can open the pipeline for talented young people of color who can make a significant difference in improving health care in the U.S."

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