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NBC4/Columbus Dispatch: OhioHealth Diversity Scholars Program

Program Celebrated 10 Years in 2018

As we put the finishing touches on the month of February, it also means the end of Black History Month. At OhioHealth, diversity and inclusion is celebrated throughout the health system.  One of the areas that has made an impact is the Diversity Scholars Program.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 13 percent of the population is African-American and 18 percent is of Hispanic and Latino ethnicity. But the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that in 2017, only 8 percent of surgeons were African-American and just 7 percent were of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity.

In 2008, OhioHealth started the Diversity Scholars Program, matching those who enter the program with mentors.

OhioHealth recruits students for the program that are underrepresented in medicine (URM, defined as Black/African-American/Latino/Hispanic) from affiliated medical schools and mentor them through years 2-4 of school, with the hope that they match into an OhioHealth residency program. The students get $500 a year for professional development while in medical school, and if they match into an OhioHealth residency program, $10,000 a year of residency in loan repayment. Along with that getting connected with a mentor, the mentors and mentees can meet, go on rounds together at hospitals, meet for dinners or coffee, and really help through all that goes into making this a career.

Dr. Isiah Rolle was a member of the program, and matched with co-director of the OhioHealth comprehensive stroke program.

"For me, it means everything. I come from a background with no medicine, no physicians at all. Having a mentor for life is one thing but going to medicine is a whole other situation because it's more competitive and there are high stakes involved so having a mentor is important to me because there are things I just really can't figure out on my own," said Dr. Rolle to NBC4.

Dr. Hicks told The Columbus Dispatch that it has been a great fit, and encourages more in these types of positions to look into this program, and for doctors to mentor.

“We've got to be proactive," Hicks said to JoAnne Viviano of The Columbus Dispatch.  "We’ve got to be visible and we’ve got to be ready, willing and able to mentor anyone that has the smallest bit of interest in medicine.”

To learn more about the program, click here.

To read the article from The Columbus Dispatch, click the logo.



To see the story from NBC4, click the logo.