Recruitment of underrepresented minorities
The recruitment of underrepresented minorities to the medical, graduate and postdoctoral programs continues to be a significant problem here at OHSU. Low recruitment impacts our ability to get and renew NIH training grants, but more importantly when we draw from a limited net, we have limited talent. Many institutions have mounted summer conferences and research internships as a way of attracting URM and informing others of their programs. The OHSU Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB) Program has a similar program to bring URM trainees to campus and to work with them in patient care or research. This program enhances the possibility that the participants will subsequently apply or encourage their colleagues to apply for positions as trainees at OHSU in the future.
Opportunity for OHSU mentors
Under a recent grant awarded to the OHSU BBB Program from the Walter S. and Lucienne Driskill Foundation, we have funding to bring URM students to OHSU from Ponce School of Medicine in Puerto Rico for research and clinical fellowships. Applicants include medical students between their first and second year to participate in research, or during their fourth year to participate in clinical clerkships, as well as graduate students for short research related visits. These rotations or visits are generally four to eight weeks in length. The OHSU BBB program is able to cover all travel and living costs and includes a stipend to participating students. We are soliciting research mentors and clinical rotations for the funded students.
Ponce School of Medicine
The Ponce School of Medicine in Puerto Rico is accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) and holds nationally accredited graduate programs in the disciplines of Medicine, Clinical Psychology, and Biomedical Sciences, and Public Health. These students are US citizens and are not considered foreign medical graduates. Since we started this URM program two years ago, we have brought twelve Ponce students to OHSU. Two Ponce medical students that completed rotations through this opportunity went on to residencies at the Mayo Clinic and Massachusetts General.
If you have any questions about the program at the Ponce School of Medicine, please contact Jose A. Torres-Ruiz, Ph.D., Director of the Ph.D. Biomedical Program and Chair of the Department of Biochemistry.