Howard University is America’s No. 1 institution for producing Black applicants to U.S. medical schools, according the Association of American Medical Colleges. In the 2017-18 academic year, 118 Howard undergraduates applied to U.S. medical schools. Nearly 150 years ago, eight students entered Howard University’s College of Medicine. Today, it enrolls 300+ African American students, more than double the number attending predominantly White medical schools.
“Howard University prepares more African American students to apply to medical school and enrolls more African Americans in our own medical school because we are committed to diversifying the workforce with talented scholars,” says President Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick. “Despite these strides, there’s still a significant underrepresentation of Black and Hispanic students in medical school. The number of Black male applicants is down from 1976, but we’re honored to contribute as the institution of choice for many students pursuing careers in medicine.”
Howard’s success stems from programs which develop qualified medical scholars, including a Pre-Freshman Summer Enhancement Program. This summer, 25 incoming freshmen lived on campus to take classes in biology, chemistry, English, and math. Also, Howard offers a program for undergraduates of other historically black colleges and universities (HBCU), which serves as a pipeline into the College of Medicine. As a result, the Class of 2022 includes students from 11 HBCUs: Xavier, Morehouse, Spelman, Hampton, Howard, Texas Southern, Prairie View, University of DC, Tuskegee, Meharry and Miles.
“Howard University has long had a range of initiatives designed to develop a pool of qualified applicants,” says Dr. Hugh E. Mighty, dean of Howard University College of Medicine. “We start by nurturing promising students in high school and guiding pre-med students with proper academic support, mentorship and tutoring. Our efforts have delivered hundreds of deserving students to the doors of America’s medical schools.”
This year, 123 new medical students entered Howard’s renowned medical program and received their short white coats. Upon graduation, they will exchange those coats for the full length version, indicating they’ve achieved the rank of M.D. Still, President Frederick hopes more students will follow this path.
“Howard University has perfected a winning formula to develop talented students into skilled surgeons,” says President Frederick. “Pursuing a career in medicine is a calling that I want more students of color to realize can become their reality.”