Statistics show that historically underrepresented communities in the United States have better health outcomes if their care providers are racially and ethnically concordant. The Warren Alpert Medical School takes seriously its responsibility to train health care professionals to provide quality care in a multicultural society.
The School achieves that mission partially through student development “pathways” programs that help foster interest in STEM-related fields among underrepresented students in Rhode Island, making them stronger candidates for medical school. It is an effort that keeps Brown ever true to its commitment
to community, diversity, and educating students to lead lives of usefulness and reputation.
The pathways programs at The Warren Alpert Medical School received a generous boost thanks to a recent gift from the Papitto Opportunity Connection, a private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to investing in education, job skills training, and entrepreneurial ventures in partnership with Rhode Island’s Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color. This gift allows Brown to grow its existing Month of Medicine pathway program and expand participant offerings to include MCAT prep coursework, regular meetings with faculty mentors, professional/leadership development sessions, CV preparation, and use of a SIM lab—a hands-on clinical skill facility. This is all in addition to exposure to medical school-level coursework, clinical rotation opportunities, and mentorship from Warren Alpert medical students.
“The support from [Papitto] will go a long way in helping us provide our underrepresented pre-med students with resources necessary to prepare for the medical school application process,” says Luckson Omoaregba, MS, director of pathway programs in the Office of Belonging, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at the Medical School. “And the mentorship our current medical students provide our Month of Medicine students will be transformational. By sharing their experiences and offering guidance on navigating the application process, they inspire and empower our students to be confident as they embark on their medical education journey.”
Month of Medicine provides a snapshot of medical education with the goal of preparing students to apply to medical schools around the country, earn degrees, and hopefully come back home to serve as health care professionals in Rhode Island. It is an important investment in one of the state’s most valuable resources—its people.
“[Papitto] knows that our communities are becoming culturally more diverse,” says John Tarantino, president of Papitto Opportunity Connection.
“We are pleased to work with The Warren Alpert Medical School so that someday soon the patients from those diverse communities will see more doctors and health care providers who look like them and better understand their vibrant cultures.”