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Minority Scholars Award

Laura Ramirez, recipient of the 2014 Minority Scholars Award

Laura Ramirez, recipient of the
2014 Minority Scholars Award

The AMA Foundation, in collaboration with the AMA Minority Affairs Section (MAS), with support from Pfizer Inc., offers medical student tuition assistance scholarships through the Minority Scholars Award program. The AMA Foundation is committed to increasing the number of minority physicians to better reflect the needs of our increasingly diverse society. Today, approximately 9 percent of U.S. physicians are Hispanic, American Indian, African-American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or from other groups historically underrepresented in the medical profession. ‘Underrepresented in medicine’ refers to racial and ethnic populations that are underrepresented relative to their numbers in the general population. Studies have documented the role of physician diversity in:

  • increasing access for underserved populations
  • increasing patient satisfaction
  • ensuring culturally competent care

The Minority Scholars Award program not only encourages diversity in medicine and alleviates debt, but also rewards commitment to the elimination of healthcare disparities, outstanding academic achievements, leadership activities and community involvement.

Approximately eight to thirteen Minority Scholars Awards are given annually, each in the amount of a $10,000 scholarship. Nominees must be a current first or second-year student and a permanent resident or citizen of the U.S. Eligible students from traditionally underrepresented groups in the medical profession include African American/Black, American Indian, Native Hawaiian, Alaska Native and Hispanic/Latino.

The Dr. Richard Allen Williams & Genita Evangelista Johnson/Association of Black Cardiologists Scholarship

The AMA Foundation and the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC) have partnered to create a scholarship that will promote diversity in medicine, encourage commitment to eliminating health care disparities, and support future cardiologists, while helping to alleviate medical student debt.

With generous support from founding donor Genita Evangelista Johnson, this annual scholarship will provide tuition support in the amount of $5,000 to a first- or second-year African-American medical student with an expressed interest in cardiology.

This scholarship is a category within the Minority Scholars Awards program. Each medical school may nominate one student for this scholarship. The student must meet all other eligibility criteria related to the program.

The AMA Foundation's 2014 Minority Scholars Award recipients were announced in May. Read the official press release and learn more about the eleven extraordinary students who received this award.

The 2015 Minority Scholars Award application is now currently available to medical schools. All nominations are due by March 6,2015 at 5pm CST. Recipients will be announced in June.

Each medical school is invited to submit up to two nominees for the general scholarship category and one nominee for the Dr. Richard Allen Williams & Genita Evangelista Johnson/Association of Black Cardiologists Scholarship.

Donors to the Minority Scholars Award

In addition to Pfizer Inc, The National Business Group on Health (NBGH) provides annual support to this scholarship program for a scholarship honoring the late Ronald M. Davis, MD, Past-President of the AMA. This specific Minority Scholars Award is granted to a minority medical student who has an interest in becoming a primary care physician. The California Healthcare Foundation partially supported a scholarship in 2012. The AMA Minority Affairs Section (MAS) Governing Council and members and other generous donors contributed one additional scholarship in 2012 and 2013. The program could not be possible without the generous support of individuals, foundations and corporate partners.

Gerald Harmon, MD

"The AMA Foundation provides support for minority scholars in an era of increasing medical school debt."
—Gerald Harmon, MD

Minority Scholars Award Recipients

2014 Minority Scholars Award recipients

2013 Minority Scholars Award recipients

2012 Minority Scholars Award recipients

The 2012 Minority Scholars Award recipients are:

  • Michael Blanco, SUNY at Buffalo School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences 
  • Lizbeth Brice, Wayne State University School of Medicine
  • Shekinah Elmore, Harvard Medical School
  • Kessiena Gbendio, University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine
  • Shermeeka Hogans-Mathews, Florida State University College of Medicine
  • Teresa Martin-Carreras, University of Central Florida College of Medicine
  • Marissa Mendez, University of Vermont College of Medicine
  • Eriberto Michel, University of Washington School of Medicine
  • Marcus Rushing, University of Kansas School of Medicine 
  • Maria Sandoval, Keck School of Medicine of USC
  • Darien Sutton-Ramsey, New York University School of Medicine
  • Elliot Twiggs, University of Minnesota Medical School, Twin Cities

The recipient of the NBGH Ronald M. Davis, MD Memorial Scholarship:
Brittney Pryor
, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

2011 Minority Scholars Award recipients

2010 Minority Scholars Award recipients

2009 Minority Scholars Award recipients

2008 Minority Scholars Award recipients

2007 Minority Scholars Award recipients

2006 Minority Scholars Award recipients

2005 Minority Scholars Award recipients

2004 Minority Scholars Award recipients

Learn about past Minority Scholars Award recipients:

Minority Scholars Award photos
View a slideshow of Minority Scholars Award activities at the AMA Annual Meeting in June 2012.

Related Links

AMA Minority Affairs Section (MAS)
Learn how the AMA-MAS addresses critical minority health and professional issues and works to expand the influence of minority physicians in the profession. 

AMA-MAC resources for funding

Commission to End Health Care Disparities
Chaired by the American Medical Association, in conjunction with the National Medical Association, the Commission to End Health Care Disparities focuses on increasing the awareness of disparities, promoting workforce diversity, promoting better data gathering, and increasing education and training.

Read more about the importance of diversity in medicine through resources provided by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC):

Donate Now

The AMA Foundation could not offer the Minority Scholars Award program without generous support from organizations like Pfizer Inc, the National Business Group on Health and individuals like Diana Ramos, MD, MPH, a past chair of the AMA Minority Affairs Consortium Governing Council. 

Diana Ramos, MD, MPH with her son Jimmy

Diana Ramos, MD, MPH with her son Jimmy

“I think it’s wonderful that the AMA Foundation supports minority scholars.  As a past medical student scholarship recipient, I know the value of even the smallest gift, and I think it’s important to give back in as many ways as you can.”

Support diversity in the medical profession and alleviate medical student debt by donating to the Minority Scholars Award.