CommonSpirit Health, Morehouse partner to train Black physicians

Chicago-based CommonSpirit Health and Morehouse School of Medicine are partnering for a 10-year, $100 million partnership to develop and train more Black physicians, they said Dec. 17.

CommonSpirit Health has more than 1,000 care sites in 21 states, and Morehouse is a historically Black medical school in Atlanta.

Under the partnership, they aim to work together to reduce health disparities.

"Of the 21,863 students entering medical school in 2019, only 1,626 were Black — and only 619 were Black males," Morehouse School of Medicine President and Dean Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD, said in a news release. "This statistic is alarming for many reasons, not the least of which is the impact on patient care. Studies show that Black patients have better outcomes when treated by Black doctors."

The partnership includes developing a joint undergraduate and graduate medical education program, as well as addressing cultural competency and developing research programs focused on illnesses that disproportionately affect minorities and underserved communities, said Morehouse and CommonSpirit.

Morehouse and CommonSpirit said the partnership will ensure at least 300 more underrepresented Black providers complete their residency training each year and support students who will be recruited from communities with historical provider shortages. The medical school and health system will establish five regional campuses and graduate medical education programs in at least 10 markets in partnership with CommonSpirit sites.

"We are laying the foundation for patients to have more access to Black clinicians and for Black medical students and graduates to gain community-based experience that they need to be successful in their work," CommonSpirit President and CEO Lloyd Dean said in a news release. "Our initiative also will create a pathway for healthcare organizations across the nation to follow and share our learnings, a vital part of our work."

More details about the partnership will be available in spring 2021.


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