George Agyapong, MD, MS, BSc (Hon), and Katherine Copeland, MD, PGY-3s and rising chief residents in the Yale Department of Internal Medicine’s Primary Care Residency Program, were awarded a $20,000 grant from the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine (AAIM) for their project STEP-uHP: A Service-Learning Initiative to Close Opportunity Gaps for Disadvantaged Students in Health Careers.
“This is a big win for all who create space for a diverse, inclusive, and thriving healthcare workforce and equitable care,” said Agyapong. “We can and must imagine more equitable, viable, and community-engaged solutions to disparities on health career paths.”
The mission of STEP-uHP is to fix the lack of early mentoring and career exposure, which force out many aspiring doctors and health professionals who cannot afford socioeconomic and academic means in the status quo. To solve this challenge, Agyapong and Copeland designed a service-learning and mentoring program, which teaches students transferable skills (such as medical scribing) with early exposure to careers in healthcare and access to customized coaching on pathways to medical/health careers.
“With this funding, we are now able to recruit and support our first cohort of scholars through our mentorship and scribing curriculum. We cannot wait to recognize the potential of this program to reduce disparities in access to health care careers and see the downstream effects,” said Copeland. Other creators of STEP-uHP include Michael Gyimah, MD, and Carolyn Gonzalez, MDYPC rising chief resident.
Faculty mentors on the program are Tracy Rabin, MD, SM; Aba Black, MD, MHS; Sameer Khan, MD, former YPC chief resident; Stephen Holt, MD, MS, FACP; John Moriarty, MD, FACP; and Katie Gielissen, MD, MHS.
Community partners include Patricia Melton, president, New Haven Promise.
The AAIM Building Trust Through Diversity 2022 grants are co-sponsored by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM Foundation), the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine (AAIM), American College of Physicians (ACP), and the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation.
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