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Founder's ProjectsThe Greenwood InitiativeStudent Debt Reduction Program for Historically Black Medical Schools

Student Debt Reduction Program for Historically Black Medical Schools

In September 2020, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative announced its first gift — a $100 million investment to support the nation’s four historically Black medical schools to help increase the number of Black doctors in the U.S. by significantly reducing the debt burden of more than 900 medical students, many of whom face increased financial pressure due to COVID-19. This was the largest-ever individual philanthropic gift received collectively by Meharry Medical College, Howard University College of Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. 

Currently in the U.S. only five percent of practicing physicians are Black yet data proves that Black patients — who are twice as likely to die from COVID-19 than white Americans — have better outcomes when treated by Black doctors. More Black doctors will mean more Black lives saved in America as well as a reduction of the health issues that end up suppressing economic opportunity in Black communities.

[This investment] helps relieve the crushing burden of medical school student debt for low-income African-American students, particularly the great number who wish to set up a practice in medically under-resourced communities of color.

Dr. David M. Carlisle, President and CEO of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science


Reducing the Student Debt Burden for Historically Black Medical School Students

As a result of this investment, more than 450 students participating in the program have now graduated and begun their medical careers. More than half of the class of 2021 graduates are conducting residencies in under-resourced communities specializing in internal medicine, family medicine and pediatrics.

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Top photo: Student working in a medical school lab of Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.