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NYC Health + Hospitals Announces New Initiative to Increase Physician Diversity

MOSAIC, Medical Opportunities for Students and Aspiring Inclusive Clinicians, will work with students from middle school to graduate medical education, as well as attending physicians, to increase diversity in medicine

Studies show that patients have better health outcomes when their doctors come from similar backgrounds and cultures

Feb 08, 2023

MOSAIC Visiting Scholar Rose Gedeon (middle row, right) and the team on her gastroenterology rotation at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem, led by Chief of Gastroenterology Dr. Joan Culpepper-Morgan (front row, seated).

NYC Health + Hospitals today announced a new initiative to encourage students, trainees and physicians from groups under-represented in medicine to join the system’s medical workforce. The new physician diversity initiative, Medical Opportunities for Students and Aspiring Inclusive Clinicians (MOSAIC), will work with students ranging from middle school through graduate medical education, as well as attending physicians, to increase diversity in medicine. MOSAIC received $500,000 from the health system’s unrestricted philanthropic funds to support the initiative. MOSAIC just launched its Visiting Scholars Program, placing medical students from backgrounds under-represented in medicine in clinical rotations at NYC Health + Hospitals facilities where they will gain experience in specialties ranging from emergency medicine to plastic surgery. The program will fund up to 10 scholars in its first year and up to 30 scholars per year in subsequent years. The application to the Visiting Scholars Program is available online, and the deadline to apply is April 28.

“Health care is not only one of the largest and fastest growing industries in New York City, but an opportunity to support our future generations,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “NYC Health + Hospitals’ new MOSAIC initiative will expose more young New Yorkers of color to working in health care and provide them access to mentorship from leaders in the field — paving the way for good, stable jobs and a bright future, while simultaneously giving New Yorkers access to doctors that have experienced many of the same issues they have had in the past.”

“NYC Health + Hospitals is proud to launch MOSAIC and invest in the next generation of clinicians,” said NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD. “We want young New Yorkers to consider a career in medicine and train here at NYC Health + Hospitals, one of the most diverse health systems in the nation.”  

“There are far too few clinicians of color in the U.S.,” said Machelle Allen, MD, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of NYC Health + Hospitals. “MOSAIC will help us tap the potential in our community and help more youth pursue a career in medicine.”

“MOSAIC is essential to our mission, as growing evidence has shown physician diversity is key to improving health outcomes and reducing health disparities,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Senior Vice President for External and Regulatory Affairs Deborah Brown, JD, MSW. “We are grateful for our generous donors whose philanthropic investment in this program will have a profound impact on how we provide our patients with the highest quality care.”

“It has been a pleasure working at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem in the gastroenterology department,” said Rose Gedeon, a MOSAIC Visiting Scholar at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem. “My experience here has not only made a significant contribution to my clinical knowledge but has also given me more knowledge on the impact of health disparities. During my rotation, we discussed the history of social injustice in medicine and how it relates to medicine today. This experience has solidified my love for gastroenterology and further pushed me to pursue my career at a community hospital so that I may provide specialized care to vulnerable populations.”

MOSAIC includes programs to train and hire future and existing doctors:

  • Visiting Scholars Program: Medical students and residents will spend four to six weeks in clinical rotations, simulation and experiential training to refine their professional development skills, gain clinical exposure, and strengthen their commitment to serving vulnerable populations. Visiting Scholars will receive either a $2,000 or $3,000 stipend (for a four- or six-week rotation) and a $2,000 housing allowance for scholars visiting from outside the NYC metro area. MOSAIC will fund up to 10 scholars in the first year of the program and up to 30 scholars per year in subsequent years. Medical students and residents can apply here.
  • Youth training:
    • MOSAIC will partner with Mentoring in Medicine to provide underserved middle and high school students with training, mentorship, and Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) preparation to help expand the pool of students interested in going into careers in medicine.
    • MOSAIC will partner with East Side House to help at-risk 16- to 24-year-old students train for careers in healthcare, including as a pharmacy technician, phlebotomist, home health aide, or nursing assistant. 
  • Recruitment: MOSAIC will create targeted recruitment and retention programs for attendings from groups under-represented in medicine to grow the diversity of NYC Health + Hospitals’ physician workforce.

Increasing the diversity of NYC Health + Hospitals’ physician workforce will likely have a significant impact on the System’s patients, the majority of whom are Black, Hispanic, and from other historically marginalized groups. It has been consistently shown that when there is greater racial and ethnic provider diversity, patient compliance and satisfaction improve and clinical uncertainty and healthcare disparities are reduced. For example, a Stanford study found that Black men are almost 20% more likely to take preventive health measures recommended by Black physicians compared to white physicians. Leading medical groups, such as the National Academy of Medicine, have similarly concluded that increasing racial and ethnic diversity among physicians would markedly improve care, access, and life expectancy for minority populations.

MOSAIC defines groups under-represented in medicine as Black/African-American, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American/Alaska Native, and Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian. Individuals interested in applying to the Visiting Scholars Program must belong to one of these groups. In addition, medical students must be attending a U.S. accredited allopathic medical schools (a program that grants a Medical Degree) or osteopathic medical schools (a program that grants a Doctor of Osteopathy degree), and residents must be attending a residency program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

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MEDIA CONTACT: 212-788-3339; PressOffice@nychhc.org

About NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest municipal health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 43,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NYCHealthandHospitals or Twitter at @NYCHealthSystem.