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Stepping up minority recruiting
Date:6/3/2009

Medical schools nationwide struggle to recruit minority physicians, but Temple has met that challenge head on and has the record to prove its success.

Since 1971, nearly 700 underrepresented African American and Latino physicians have completed their medical training at the School of Medicine. And this summer, the school will strengthen its efforts to educate minorities thanks to a catchy acronym and the perseverance of Raul DeLa Cadena.

Backed by a five-year, $500,000 National Institutes of Health (NIH) training grant, the associate professor of physiology and thrombosis research is launching the Short Term Education Program for Undergraduate and Predoctoral students (STEP UP) to increase the number of minorities involved in health-related research.

"We believe producing a physician scientist who is engaged in doing research in areas related to minority health will help eliminate health disparities," said DeLa Cadena.

STEP UP begins this summer as a three-month research-based training program for 12 students from ethnic groups that the NIH has shown to be underrepresented in the health professions. The cohort will include eight undergraduates who have finished at least one year of college and are interested in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy or other health careers; and four medical students who have successfully completed their first year of medical education. Participants will pair with a mentor and get training and hands-on experience in biomedical research topics such as safety in the research laboratory, research misconduct, the use of experimental animal models and health disparities.

Promoting diversity is familiar ground for DeLa Cadena. As assistant dean of the school's recruitment, admissions and retention program, he and his staff provide support and opportunities for prospective applicants, students and alumni from groups that are underrepresented in medicine.

"Despite the fact that African Ame
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Contact: Megan Chiplock
chiplock@temple.edu
215-707-1731
Temple University
Source:Eurekalert

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