Diversity at MUSC
Interviews of individuals across MUSC sharing their experiences and approaches to diversity on our campus.
The College of Medicine has increased its under-represented in medicine (URM) student population dramatically since 2002. In 2002, URM students comprised 11 percent of the College’s medical school’s student body, whereas today URM students account for 18 percent of the student body. Our current students, minority and majority alike, promote a collegial, collaborative environment where all students feel welcome. We are proud of our recruitment efforts of African-American males. We successfully matriculated 10 African-American males each year from 2006 to 2009 and continue the trend of exceeding the national average of majority medical schools for African-American male matriculates.
The Under Represented in Medicine Visiting Student Program is sponsored by the College of Medicine and respective COM departments. The program invites fourth year under-represented in medicine (URM) medical students (African-American, Native-American, Hispanic and Native Hawaiian) to participate in a fourth year externship at MUSC. Support for travel and housing is provided by the departments at varying levels. While gaining experience in their selected disciplines, visiting students have access to the MUSC library, Center for Academic Excellence, MUSC Wellness Center, and other student facilities, as well as to various educational programs and seminars.
First (1st) year underrepresented in medicine medical students and their families are invited to a transition forum before starting medical school. During this forum, students meet Dean’s Office administrators, their instructors, other key personnel, as well as their peer mentors. The Student National Medical Association presents at this meeting to give incoming students an overview of the organization.
Established in 2005, the purpose of the Mentoring Ensures Medical School Success (MEMS) program is to provide College of Medicine under-represented in medicine students with a faculty mentor who will assist students to excel academically, emotionally, socially and professionally. The program activities are divided by class and consist of monthly round-table luncheons led by Associate and Assistant Deans from the COM and the University's Executive Director of Student Programs. These round-table luncheons include dialogue related to accessing resources, study skills, test-taking skills, supplemental instruction (group and individual), as well as social and psychological issues.
Current College of Medicine first year students are assigned as student ambassadors to those students accepted into the College to encourage their attendance and respond to questions and concerns. Student ambassadors are encouraged to maintain contact with their new student until their arrival to the MUSC College of Medicine campus.
Second (2nd) year under-represented in medicine students are assigned to first (1st) year under-represented in medicine students entering the College of Medicine. The mentors provide first-hand information about negotiating one’s way academically and socially through the first year of medical school, as well as resources such as books, notes, etc.
MEMS facilitators, current residents and the Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education meet with 4th year underrepresented in medicine medical students to prepare them for the residency interview process. Facilitators track the students throughout the residency selection process and provide ongoing support.
The MUSC chapter of SNMA participates in the health care education of the minority populations in Charleston, SC through sponsoring local health fairs, bone marrow drives, sickle cell testing, and a large number of other community service activities. Students work closely with their advisors to develop seminars for educational enrichment, board review, residency applications, etc. SNMA informs minority high school and college students, of the many opportunities available to them in the health care profession.