William F. Owen, M.D. , FACP, dean and chancellor of Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM), and Leslie N. Pollard, Ph.D., D.Min., MBA., and president of Oakwood University (OU) signed the agreement on October 24, 2019 on Oakwood’s campus.
This new partnership will create a pathway program for more African – Americans to attend medical school and make it easier for Oakwood graduates to study medicine at RUSM. Qualified Oakwood students who earn full acceptance into the RUSM medical school will receive a scholarship covering full tuition for their first semester there.
Oakwood University has consistently been a top producer of African-Americans that are accepted and go on to attend medical school. According to the American Association of American Medical Colleges and the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education , OU is currently the fifth ranking Historically Black College and University in the United States.
With this new initiative, Oakwood is coupling the longstanding excellence of its pre-med program with its UNCF grant-supported Career Pathways Initiative to grow its relationships with institutions such as RUSM. Developing new partnerships, such as this one, will provide additional opportunities for continued success and professional growth of our Oakwood students.
“We engage in this hopeful relationship with Ross University School of Medicine on behalf of interested Oakwood students, who will now join the generations that have been blessed through the work of Ross University,” said Oakwood University President Leslie Pollard.
“African-American doctors are woefully underrepresented in the physician workforce, leading fewer African Americans to see a doctor,” said RUSM Dean and Chancellor, William F. Owen, Jr., M.D., FACP. “This has significant negative healthcare outcomes in communities already prone to high rates of chronic diseases. Working with Oakwood and other HBCUs, using novel student engagements, validated support programs and senior-level commitments to success, we’re working to address that long overdue challenge to increase the diversity of our nation’s physicians.”