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Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) announces a new collaboration with Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU), a historically Black college and university (HBCU) in Daytona Beach, Fla., to expand educational access for aspiring medical students. Through this agreement, B-CU students and alumni who meet RUSM’s program requirements — many of whom identify as a race or ethnicity underrepresented in medicine — will be eligible for direct admission and scholarships to RUSM to pursue a medical degree.

This partnership highlights how RUSM continues to advance health equity, while working to combat critical healthcare workforce shortages by training diverse students who represent the communities they serve. Culturally competent care improves health outcomes and quality of care.

RUSM Scholarship

The scholarship is available to B-CU pre-health medical students and alumni, up to five years after graduation, and will cover tuition and housing for the first semester, and the flight to attend first semester.[1] Recipients may conduct a pre-campus visit to RUSM in Barbados to experience a day in the life of an RUSM student, with travel and lodging expenses provided by RUSM.[2]

The U.S. could see an estimated shortage of up to 139,000 physicians by 2033.[3] RUSM is preparing a workforce at scale to fill widespread physician shortages achieving strong residency placements with a 95% first-time eligible residency attainment rate for 2021-22 graduates and expected graduates (as of April 5, 2022). In 2022, 73 Black and 43 Latinx RUSM graduates secured residency positions.

“RUSM is committed to advancing representation in medicine and preparing future physicians who will contribute to a just and effective healthcare system for those in the communities they serve,” said Heidi Chumley, M.D., M.B.A, dean of RUSM. “This partnership with B-CU supports our shared goal of expanding educational access and opportunity, to ensure a pathway for potential doctors from diverse backgrounds to pursue their passion. Representation matters; diversifying the profession increases health equity and improves patient outcomes and the physician workforce is far from reflecting the patient community it serves.”

In 2021-2022, U.S. medical school matriculants were 11.3% Black or African American[4], not yet mirroring the total U.S. population at 14.2%.[5] RUSM’s student population is diverse with 16% Black or African American and has been able to outpace U.S. medical schools in graduating more Black physicians than any U.S. medical school.[6]

History of B-CU

“A century ago, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune founded a hospital and created the only training school for African American nurses on the east coast. Today, we are reimagining her legacy for the 21st century by creating new opportunities in medicine for our students and alumni,” said Dr. Lawrence M. Drive, B-CU interim president. “This is the first of many new partnerships and programs to give our students access to more high-skill, high-paying careers. With direct admission and scholarships at RUSM, our students have new ways to build their competencies and use their gifts, talents, and experiences to selflessly change the world for the better.”

B-CU is a private, historically Black university with a rich history, beloved traditions and a strong commitment to academic excellence and community service. The mission of B-CU is to educate a diverse community of learners to become responsible, productive citizens and solution seekers through the promotion of faith, scholarship, creative endeavors, leadership, and service.

"While on the campus in Barbados, I was able to interact with faculty who blew me away with the level of passion, excitement and commitment they have toward their students,” said Christopher Davis, PhD, associate professor of biology and chemistry, Bethune-Cookman University. “Their facilities and classrooms are innovative, engaging, and interactive. RUSM students are provided with an exceptional environment to learn and immerse themselves in medicine, and the faculty are invested in their students to help them on a path to success after graduation."

To give students flexibility and allow them several options to start their medical education, RUSM admits students three times a year, in January, May and September. Applications are now being accepted for the September 2022 semester.

For more information about the partnership between B-CU and RUSM, please visit the website.

About Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU)

Mary McLeod Bethune founded the Daytona Educational and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls in 1904. In 1923, it became a co-ed high school as a result of a merger with Cookman Institute of Jacksonville, Fla. One year later, the school became affiliated with the United Methodist Church, evolved into a junior college by 1931 and became known as Bethune-Cookman College. In 1941, the Florida State Department of Education approved a four-year baccalaureate program offering liberal arts and teacher education. On Feb. 14, 2007, the Board of Trustees approved a name change to Bethune-Cookman University. For more information, visit https://www.cookman.edu/index.html

About Ross University School of Medicine

Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) is an institution of Adtalem Global Education (NYSE: ATGE), a global education provider headquartered in the United States. Founded in 1978 and located in Barbados, RUSM has more than 15,000 alumni and is committed to educating a diverse group of skilled physicians. RUSM is accredited by the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and Other Health Professions (CAAM-HP). For more information, please visit medical.rossu.edu and follow RUSM on Twitter (@RossMedSchool)Instagram (@rossmedschool) and Facebook (@RossMedSchool).

About Adtalem Global Education

Adtalem Global Education (NYSE: ATGE) is a leading healthcare educator and provider of professional talent to the healthcare industry. With a dedicated focus on driving strong outcomes that increase workforce preparedness, Adtalem empowers a diverse learner population to achieve their goals and make inspiring contributions to their communities. Adtalem is the parent organization of American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, Chamberlain University, Ross University School of Medicine, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, and Walden University. Adtalem and its institutions have more than 10,000 employees and a network of more than 275,000 alumni. Adtalem was named one of America’s Most Responsible Companies 2021 by Newsweek, and one of America’s Best Employers for Diversity in 2021 and 2022 by Forbes. Follow Adtalem on Twitter @adtalemglobalLinkedIn or visit Adtalem.com for more information.


[1] To be eligible for HBCU & HSI Partnership benefits, student must be admitted to Ross University School of Medicine. Students who are residents of the state of New York residents must submit a Letter of intent to be eligible. Students who are residents of the state of Florida are not eligible due to state regulations.

[2] To be eligible for HBCU & HSI Partnership benefits, student must be admitted to Ross University School of Medicine. Students who are residents of the state of Florida are not eligible due to state regulations.

[3] The United States is projected to have a shortage of 54,100–139,000 physicians in the U.S. by 2033. Source:  https://www.aamc.org/media/45976/download?attachment

[4] https://www.aamc.org/data-reports/students-residents/interactive-data/2021-facts-applicants-and-matriculants-data, Table A-14.3

[5] https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2020/dec/2020-redistricting-supplementary-tables.html (Table 2)

[6] Percentage of students enrolled in the 2020-21 academic year.

In 2020, 91% of RUSM students passed the initial step of the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) on the first attempt. And in 2021-2022, results show yet another strong year for RUSM with a 96% first-time residency attainment rate* thus far. Located on the island of Barbados and with a network of more than 15,000 alumni, RUSM is one of the largest providers of doctors for the U.S. healthcare system. RUSM graduates practice in all 50 states and in Puerto Rico.

*First time residency attainment rate is the percent of students attaining a 2022-23 residency position out of all graduates or expected graduates in 2021-22 who were active applicants in the 2022 NRMP match or who attained a residency position outside the NRMP match.