News From CHEST Physician®

Supporting the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development program


 

In 2020, the CHEST Foundation embarked on a bold new initiative to build trust, identify, and remove barriers, and promote health care access for all in order to help fight lung disease. As part of that, we recognize that racial and ethnic minorities have been underrepresented in medical professions, contributing to these barriers to patient care.

We recognize that advocating for these groups and increasing the number of medical professors who represent people of color, ethnic minority groups, or who come from an historically disadvantaged community also increases the number of role models in our communities and can help stimulate greater interest among minority students in the health care professions. This year, CHEST is joining ATS and ALA in funding the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development program, and the CHEST Foundation will be raising funds to support these fellowship recipients.

Harold Amos, PhD, was the first African American to chair a department, now the Department of Microbiology and Medical Genetics, of the Harvard Medical School. Dr. Amos worked tirelessly to recruit and mentor minority and disadvantaged students to careers in academic medicine and science. He was a founding member of the National Advisory Committee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Minority Medical Faculty Development Program in 1983 and served as the Program’s National Program Director between 1989 and 1993. Dr. Amos remained active with the program until his death in 2003.

This program exists to continue Dr. Amos’s legacy and to increase the number of faculty from historically disadvantaged backgrounds who can achieve senior rank in academic medicine, dentistry, or nursing and who will encourage and foster the development of succeeding classes of such physicians, dentists, and nurse-scientists. The impact of this program is clear.

Key results

  • Over the past 30 years, 241 scholars had completed all 4 years of the program (as of 2012). More than three-quarters remained in academic medicine, including 57 professors, 76 associate professors, and 56 assistant professors.
  • Many program alumni have earned professional honors and become influential leaders in the health care field. For example, three direct institutes at the National Institutes of Health, and 10 have been elected to the Institute of Medicine.
  • Alumni have received hundreds of awards and honors, including a MacArthur Fellowship “genius” award.
  • Alumni have reached positions of influence in academia that enable them to help correct the underrepresentation of minorities in the health professions and address health disparities.

Former scholars are:

  • Members of admission, intern, and faculty selection committees
  • On review boards for clinical protocols and research studies
  • Officers of professional societies and on editorial boards of academic journals

CHEST is proud to join with ATS and ALA to support this incredible program. We recognize that the impact on the past is only the start. By supporting this initiative, we are also looking to address the challenges of the future as the health care landscape continues to evolve. Ensuring that this program reaches the right groups and continues to promote Dr. Amos’s legacy is integral not only to the success of the program but also to aid us in being able to care for our diverse and unique patient populations. The CHEST Foundation is raising funds to support future fellowship recipients. Join us at our next Viva la Vino wine tasting event on July 14 at 7:00 PM CT. All proceeds go to benefit this important initiative, and you can learn more about the work the Foundation does in a relaxed, social environment.

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