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According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), in 2016-2017, only 7% of all medical school matriculants were of African-American ethnicity as compared to the 13% make-up of all Americans. It is well-known, even corroborated by studies, that African-American patients have more trust and slightly better health outcomes with physicians that look like them. AAMC has also surveyed medical students and acknowledge that African-Americans are more willing to practice in underserved, minority-rich but physician-scarce areas.
In 2016 nearly 74% of new medical school graduates had education debt. The AAMC annual survey of medical school students also found that median education debt levels for graduates rose to $190,000 in 2016 from $125,372 in 2000, after being adjusted for inflation. It has also been reported that the average household income of majority medical students is sometimes twice that of minorities. The medical school classrooms are also being skewed towards higher income families. Economic diversity is dwindling as access to quality college education becomes more threatened.
There are myriad reasons that we, the Atlanta Medical Association, need to extend ourselves and push to become extended family for our minority medical students. The rising indebtedness of medical school education has been shown to influence the career choices of those still matriculating. In the end, access to superior healthcare in our communities is jeopardized. The attrition rate is high in the state of Georgia and the applicant pool is not keeping in step. We must pick up the pace and help those who want to serve mankind through healthcare. Medical school is difficult enough without the added stress of how to fund it.
We are proud to continue the work of our 501-(c)(3) foundation, the Heritage Fund of the Atlanta Medical Association, and establish the AMA Endowment. Over the past twenty years, hundreds of minority medical students from Morehouse School of Medicine, Howard University College of Medicine and Meharry Medical College have been granted close to a half-million dollars. The cause of raising money for these worthwhile scholarships now can live in perpetuity. We ask that you consider supporting our goal of raising a ten-million-dollar endowment. Join us and contribute to the great legacy of the Atlanta Medical Association and by doing so, you ultimately will care for generations to come.
AMA Endowment Campaign Committee