ROSS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE AND SAINT PETER’S UNIVERSITY PARTNER TO INCREASE PHYSICIAN DIVERSITY
The agreement, signed today at Saint Peter’s campus, creates an educational pathway program for Saint Peter’s graduates to study medicine at RUSM. Qualified Saint Peter’s students who earn full acceptance into the medical school will receive a scholarship for first semester tuition at the RUSM campus in Barbados.
"Student success is not only measured by what our students accomplish while they are here, but what they go on to accomplish after graduation," said Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D., president of Saint Peter's University. “This partnership with RUSM exemplifies our mission to find new pathways to employment and career advancement for our diverse student population.”
“The U.S. needs more Hispanic and Latino physicians if the medical profession is to serve our communities effectively,” said William F. Owen, Jr., M.D., FACP, dean and chancellor of RUSM. “The lack of a diverse physician workforce negatively impacts healthcare outcomes in Hispanic communities and communities of color that are typically prone to high rates of chronic diseases. We’re working to address that long overdue challenge to increase the diversity of our nation’s physicians by partnering with Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), using novel student engagements, validated support programs and senior-level commitments to success.”
As an HSI, Saint Peter’s has been consistently recognized for its commitment to serving Latino students. In 2016, Saint Peter’s was awarded the Title III HSI STEM grant for $3.8 million to support SURGE (STEM Undergraduate Retention, Graduation, and Empowerment) that provides opportunities for research. In 2018 Saint Peter’s also received the National Science Foundation’s first-ever Hispanic serving grant for $1.5 million to build STEM internship experiences. Most recently Saint Peter’s was selected as one of 20 nationwide finalists to receive a Seal of Excelencia certification from Excelencia in Education, a nonprofit organization that seeks to accelerate Latino student success in higher education.
RUSM is an International Member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. RUSM has also announced four similar agreements with minority serving institutions over the past year, including: Charles R. Drew University, Dillard University, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, and Tuskegee University. As part of its continued commitment to addressing diversity, RUSM’s parent company, Adtalem Global Education (NYSE: ATGE), signed on to the HBCU Partnership Challenge created by the Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus, pledging to invest in creating strategic collaborations with HBCUs and working to increase diversity in key workforce sectors.
Having recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, RUSM’s 14,000-plus diverse alumni practice medicine throughout North America and across all specialties, including a high percentage of graduates who enter the in-demand field of primary care. More than a quarter of RUSM students identify as black or Hispanic, with RUSM earning a 96 percent USMLE Step 1 first-time pass rate in 2018. RUSM also achieved a 92 percent residency attainment rate for first-time-eligible 2018-2019 graduates, and of the 647 RUSM medical students who attained residency in March of 2019, 82 were black and 61 were Hispanic.