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  • Press Release

    AAMC, NMA Announce Innovation Grants to Address Shortage of Black Men in Medicine

    Media Contacts

    John Buarotti, Sr. Public Relations Specialist

    The Action Collaborative for Black Men in Medicine – an initiative of the Association of American Medical Colleges and the National Medical Association – is launching the Illinois Black Men in Medicine Innovation Grant. The grant program aims to foster diversity and inclusion in the medical field and address the critical shortage of Black male physicians. It is co-sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois’ Institute for Physician Diversity®. The organizations are fielding proposals for up to five grants.

    A 2019 report showed that between 2007-2015, the percentage of Black male applicants and matriculants from Chicago-area medical schools was below 3%, with only a minimal increase since that time. According to AAMC data, during the 2023-2024 academic year, the national percentage of Black or African American males applying to medical school was 2.7% while only 2.9% matriculated – a number that has remained relatively stagnant since 1978 despite an overall increase in the number of Black male college graduates.

    “This joint effort demonstrates the commitment of higher education and the health care communities to increasing physician workforce diversity and improving patient outcomes,” said David Acosta, MD, AAMC chief diversity and inclusion officer.

    Outcomes from the innovation grant programs will serve as a template for wider action across Illinois and a blueprint for advancing physician diversity across the country.

    As a practicing physician and health equity advocate in our state for many years, I've seen the impact and need for a diverse medical workforce in our communities first-hand. I am thrilled that Illinois is positioning itself as a leader in addressing the underrepresentation of Black men in medicine,” said Niva Lubin-Johnson, MD, Action Collaborative Organizing Committee member and past president of the NMA.

    Applications will be accepted through April 30. Consideration will be given to Illinois-based applicants who demonstrate creative solutions with potential for long-term impact to increase the representation of Black men in medicine. For more information about the innovation grants and the Action Collaborative for Black Men in Medicine, please visit https://www.aamc.org/actioncollabforbmim.

    The AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) is a nonprofit association dedicated to improving the health of people everywhere through medical education, health care, medical research, and community collaborations. Its members are all 158 U.S. medical schools accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education; 13 accredited Canadian medical schools; approximately 400 academic health systems and teaching hospitals, including Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 70 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC leads and serves America’s medical schools, academic health systems and teaching hospitals, and the millions of individuals across academic medicine, including more than 193,000 full-time faculty members, 96,000 medical students, 153,000 resident physicians, and 60,000 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the biomedical sciences. Following a 2022 merger, the Alliance of Academic Health Centers and the Alliance of Academic Health Centers International broadened participation in the AAMC by U.S. and international academic health centers.