The year 2003 was a remarkable year for U.S. medical schools. For the first time, over half of U.S. medical school applicants and enrollees were women. Although we have made significant strides to increase the number of women in medicine, we clearly need more minority women in medicine. Several organizations, including the Institute of Medicine, have studied minority representation in medicine. Their findings highlight the importance of expanding such representation in medicine.
We know that minority patients would rather see minority physicians. We also know that minority physicians are more likely to see larger numbers of minority patients. Although African-Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans make up over 26% of our population, only 6% of our practicing physicians are members of these minority groups. In 2011, Hispanic and black women represented only 3.8 and 4.1% of our medical school graduates, respectively. To impact racial and ethnic health disparities in the United States, we need to increase the number of minority women in medicine and provide them with the support to overcome the challenges of medical school.
To help increase the number of minority women in medicine, Macy's and the American Heart Association have combined to sponsor the Go Red Multicultural Scholarship Fund. Last year, sixteen $2,500 scholarships were given to minority women. Medical students are eligible to apply. Applicants must submit an essay, two letters of recommendation, transcript, and description of community service involvement.