By AFRO Staff
Morgan State University may be well on its way to grooming a new generation of Black physicians.
The school’s Board of Regents recently gave President David Wilson permission to pursue an affiliation agreement with Salud Education, LLC that may mean the creation of a new College of Osteopathic Medicine at the Baltimore university by as early as 2023.
If successful, the proposed college would be the first new medical school at an HCBU in nearly half a century and the only institution offering a degree in osteopathic – or holistic—medicine in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia and Virginia area.
“We have an obligation, given our mission and charge, to explore any and all possibilities to create meaningful educational opportunities for our students. Seeking a strategic alignment with a proven partner in the development of medical colleges places Morgan in a strong position to do just that, while keeping a focus on the larger implications of this for increasing diversity in the physician workforce,” said Dr. Wilson. “This is a unique opportunity not only to further the progress happening at Morgan but to do so in a way that could also reap huge benefits for the City of Baltimore, the State and the nation.”
Osteopathic medicine is one of the fastest-growing health care professions in the U.S. According to the American Osteopathic Association, one out of every four medical students is enrolled in an osteopathic medical school and, over the past decade, there has been a 68 percent increase in the total number of doctors of osteopathic medicine (DO’s).
According to Wilson, creating a College of Osteopathic Medicine at Morgan bolsters the medical school options available to state residents and would also attract more out-of -town enrollees, given Baltimore’s strategic position in region of the East Coast without competing programs.
According to the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM), there are 36 accredited colleges of osteopathic medicine at 57 teaching locations in 33 U.S. states.
Wilson also said that a medical program at the HBCU could address the lack of diversity in the field. Despite sustained efforts to increase the number of African-American doctors, the number of minorities in the nation’s medical schools remain low. The Association of American Medical Colleges indicates that there will be a substantial shortage of physicians by the year 2025, and the group most likely to see its numbers diminished within the profession will be Black males.
“Given the dearth of African Americans who are entering and graduating from medical school today, it is imperative that Morgan position itself as a viable destination and pipeline for those pursuing degrees in medicine within this underrepresented group,” added Dr. Wilson. “It was disheartening to learn that little to no significant progress in increasing the number of African-American males, in particular, in medical school has occurred in nearly 50 years. Morgan can make a difference by bringing a medical school to the campus that aspires to benefit all.”