There will be two more medical schools in the U.S. at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Xavier University in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland, will help create more Black doctors, according to a report by Reckon News.
Here are five things to know.
1. Xavier plans to expand its legacy of sending the most Black students to medical school into helping create the most Black doctors.
A Black Catholic university, Xavier was already known for having a top-tier pre-med program that sent the most Black students to medical school. Now it will build on that legacy.
The university announced it would open its medical school in April 2022 to fill in gaps in the healthcare industry, NOLA.com reported.
“It’s important that we not only address the physician shortage but that we address the diversity of the physician population,” Xavier President Reynold Verret said. “As we learned throughout the pandemic – but we knew beforehand – trust and representation are linked. Trust is an important part of public health and also in addressing health disparities.”
2. Morgan State aims to ensure Baltimore residents have access to doctors who look like and can relate to them.
Morgan State announced its intention to open its medical school in September 2022.
According to a report by The Baltimore Banner, founders said the proposed Maryland College of Osteopathic Medicine has two primary goals: to “increase the number of Black doctors entering the profession and, in turn, increase Black Baltimore residents’ access to physicians that look like them.”
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John Sealey is the founding dean of Morgan State’s upcoming medical school.
“Many members of this community go to the emergency room for treatment, and they’re often treated by people who don’t understand the dynamics of how they grew up and what they’re going through,” Sealy said. “We want to change that.”
3. Only four other HBCUs have medical schools, but they produce more than half of Black doctors combined.
Xavier and Morgan State will make the fifth and sixth HBCUs to have medical schools. Only four other HBCUs have them. They include Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles, California; Howard University in Washington, D.C.; Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee; and Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.
4. HBCUs offer Black medical school students a higher sense of belonging and confidence.
According to a study released in July 2022, medical schools at HBCUs are better for Black students’ sense of validation and self-esteem. Dr. Sylvia Perry is the study’s senior researcher and an associate professor of psychology at Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University.
“Our findings suggest that Black medical students in PWI schools may experience greater everyday discrimination relative to their HBCU peers that leads to reduced perceptions of their ability to succeed within medical school,” Perry told Diverse Education.
5. Morgan State and Xavier are expected to launch their medical schools in 2024 and 2025, respectively.
Representatives from Morgan State told the Baltimore Banner they hope to enroll 125 students in their medical school in the Fall of 2024, while Xavier’s program is slated to launch in 2025.
PHOTOS: Adobe Stock Photo of Black Doctors. Morgan State University Campus. (Courtesy of morgan.edu). Xavier University Campus. (Courtesy of zula.edu)