Historically black medical colleges seek increased spending in hearings with Bernie Sanders

The leaders of four historically black medical schools told Senator Bernie Sanders that the federal government needs to increase funding for its medical schools.

ATLANTA — To train more black doctors, the federal government needs to boost funding and increase training slots for historically black medical schools, leaders at those universities said Friday. I told Senator Sanders.

“Our HBCU medical school is the backbone of black doctor training in this country,” Dr. Hugh Mighty, senior vice president for health at Howard University, said at a hearing in Atlanta.

Meanwhile, students told the Vermont independent senator, who chairs the Health, Education, Work, and Pensions Committee, that many aspiring doctors are heavily in debt, and that families have hundreds of dollars in debt. said it is particularly discouraging for non-white students who are less likely to pay Thousands of dollars in tuition and fees.

“The biggest barrier to entry for the burgeoning black physician market is the seemingly insurmountable financial risk that awaits to bind everyone who walks through the gates of medical education,” says Morehouse School of Medicine resident Samuel M. Dr. Cook told Mr. Sanders.

Cook, who is $320,000 in debt, said he could earn more on an hourly basis as a restaurant cook than as a medical resident. Cook said the federal government should write off the debt of medical students and now pay them for medical school.

Mr. Sanders met with leaders from Morehouse School of Medicine, Howard University School of Medicine, Meharry School of Medicine, and Charles Drew College of Medicine at the Morehouse Campus in Atlanta.

“We will listen to your testimony and do our best – no promises – but we will do our best to translate your ideas into legislation,” Sanders told leaders and students. said.

The former Democratic presidential candidate has made canceling all student loans a central pillar of his 2020 campaign. He also supports the need for more training of doctors willing to work in underserved areas.

Valerie Montgomery Rice, president of the Morehouse School of Medicine, told Sanders that black medical schools are poorly funded and poorly affiliated with academic institutions, so “there is no incentive from federal programs specifically designed to level the playing field.” “Support is very important,” he said.

Rice and others said more slots in training and fellowship programs are needed for school graduates to complete their training. They pointed out that there were not enough training slots to train all the doctors needed, and that recent expansion had omitted hospitals linked to schools.

“So if increasing the number of doctors in communities of color and in underserved communities is truly a priority, we can spend a significant portion of these slots in our partner hospitals and health centers. There should be a special provision for each of these programs to teach “our HBCUs,” Rice said.

A congressional proposal to increase Medicare-financed housing quotas by 14,000 over seven years could solve the problem. School leaders support the plan.

Leaders, including Dr. David Carlyle, president of Drew in Los Angeles, said federal programs to strengthen research in schools have not provided enough funding to offset historical disadvantages.

Janet E. Southpole, president of Meharry College, said the federal government should also strengthen summer study, mentoring, and scholarship programs that encourage nonwhite students to apply to medical school. She said such “pipeline” programs are important in recruiting minority doctors.

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