ROOTSTOWN, Ohio — Making medical school accessible and diversifying the landscape of a growing field is just part of the mission of Northeast Ohio Medical University in Rootstown, Ohio.
Officials say representation is important, and they do everything in their power to ensure this is accurately reflected in the student body.
“Our goal is to create a workforce representative of the society in which we live,” said Dr. John Langell, president of Northeast Ohio Medical University.
The public medical school is actively working to change the face of mainstream medicine, one student at a time.
NEOMED officials say their student body is promising, strong and understanding.
Sophomore medical student Vissy Elad takes her role and purpose incredibly seriously.
“I’m just happy to give what I can and hope my efforts lead to something that will become something bigger, something bigger,” Elad said.
The numbers, according to NEOMED, are promising:
NEOMED’s incoming MD class of 2022 has 25.3% underrepresented minority students.
Last year’s class of 2021, which was slightly smaller, was made up of 30% minority students.
In the medical field, however, the Association of American Medical Colleges reports that only 5% of physicians are black and 6% are Hispanic.
NEOMED has created a strategic plan combining medical education and evidence-based health care issues to identify opportunities and advancement.
University President Langell said research has shown that the MCAT or Medical College admissions test to enter medical school is biased and blatantly favors some students.
“You can see it. You can see that one population is always on average higher than other populations,” Langell said.
Langell began a listening tour in 2019 and began looking beyond test numbers.
He noted that public input and evidence-based research were key to closing the gap.
NEOMED finally created a post-baccalaureate program to help combat MCAT bias.
Through the program, students can apply for a pre-med program leading to early insurance in medical school.
Langell says it’s more than an alternative entry point, but an opportunity to continue to grow with the medical landscape.
“It’s something we had to do – when it comes to growing with the field and looking for top talent. It’s been a game-changer.”
In the meantime, Elad says diversifying the domain is the first step towards positive change.
She says restoring medical confidence can be done, one student at a time.
She says it is comforting for patients to see like-minded doctors and nurses.
“Bringing people from these groups directly into the medical field can help provide better care for these groups,” Elad said.
For more information on NEOMED’s Post-Baccalaureate program, click here: Early Post-Baccalaureate Insurance | Post BACC Programs in Ohio | NEOMED