“We need people from all over the world, with different perspectives, different abilities, and different approaches, to help us discover new solutions.” – Dean Augustine M.K. Choi, M.D.
Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM) has historically been a national leader in student diversity since the establishment of the Office of Minority Affairs and recruitment of the medical college’s first Associate Dean of Minority Affairs in 1969. Many of the early programs designed to promote diversity among students have been exceptionally effective and consistent.
In 2019, the Travelers Summer Research Fellowship Program will celebrate 50 years of training pre-medical summer fellows in the field of medicine and research. Weill Cornell had admitted only eight African-American students in its history before the start of this program. As of the summer of 2015, 1,143 students from backgrounds underrepresented in medicine have participated in the program, with 82.7% matriculating into medical schools across the nation.
Similarly, the ACCESS and Gateways to the Laboratory summer research programs for undergraduate students serve as a pipeline into PhD and MD-PhD programs across the country. Among the 245 alumni of the Gateways Program for example, 74% completed or are pursuing MD, PhD or MD-PhD degrees, with 17% having completed or are pursuing combined MD-PhD degrees. These outcomes supersede some of the most popular national programs across the country.[i]
To date, over 4,000 students at the middle, high school and undergraduate level have been impacted by the Weill Cornell Medicine and Graduate School pipeline programs. Coupled with robust recruitment efforts, WCM has established a reputation among its peers as a leader in diversity pipeline efforts. This has led to an increase in enrollment in the medical school, graduate school, and MD-PhD program. In a 2010 study of the social mission of US medical schools, WCM ranked first among all private medical colleges, excluding historically black colleges, in the enrollment of minority medical students.[ii] In a second study, WCM ranked second nationally graduating African American physicians.[iii]