Addressing medical school diversity through an undergraduate partnership at Texas A&M Health Science Center: a blueprint for success.Acad Med. 2008 May; 83(5):512-5.AM
Imperative to increasing diversity in the physician workforce is increasing the pool of qualified underrepresented minority applicants to medical schools. With this goal in mind, the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine (A&M College of Medicine) has partnered with Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU), a historically black college and university that is a component of the Texas A&M university system, to develop the undergraduate medical academy (UMA). The UMA was established by legislative mandate in 2003 and is a state-funded program. The authors describe the development of partnership between the A&M College of Medicine and PVAMU, focusing on the key attributes that have been identified for success. The administrative structure of the UMA ensures that the presidents of the two institutions collaborate to address issues of program oversight and facilitates a direct relationship between the dean and associate dean for academic affairs of A&M College of Medicine and the director of the UMA to define the program objectives and structure. The authors delineate the admission process to the UMA, as well as the academic requirements of the program. Students attend lecture series during the academic year and participate in summer programs on the A&M College of Medicine campus in addition to receiving intensive academic counseling and opportunities for tutoring in several subjects. The authors also describe the initial success in medical school admissions for UMA students. This partnership provides a model blueprint that can be adopted and adapted by other medical schools focused on increasing diversity in medicine.