The Johns Hopkins Gazette: May 19, 2003
May 19, 2003
VOL. 32, NO. 35


Minority Doctors' Talents Showcased with New Visiting Professorship

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

The School of Medicine's Department of Medicine announces the first annual visiting professorship designed to showcase the talents of outstanding minority medical scientists and doctors. Each year, the professorship will bring leading academic physicians and scientists to Johns Hopkins to lecture and mentor minority faculty, residents and fellows.

The first to fill the post is Juanita Merchant, associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan. Merchant, who earned medical and doctoral degrees from Yale, has won numerous awards for her study of the mechanisms that control normal and cancerous cell growth in the gastrointestinal tract. She will be in residence this week, on May 22 and 23.

"Underrepresented minorities make up less than 3 percent of faculties in America's leading medical institutions, yet their contributions to medical science and patient care are immense" said Gary Wand, chair of the Department of Medicine's Diversity Council.

The visiting professorship is seen as both a means for highlighting the work of minority leaders in medical science and for focusing efforts at Johns Hopkins to recruit and keep talented minority faculty members, Wand said. "We believe the interactions of the visiting professor with junior faculty, fellows, residents, students and staff will foster role models for our clinician-scientists in training," he said.

Merchant will deliver the prestigious Grand Rounds presentation at The Johns Hopkins Hospital on May 23. She also will meet with leadership, minority faculty and residents and fellows to develop strategies to recruit and promote minority faculty.

The diversity council also is undertaking a three-to-five-year study to determine how best to recruit and retain minority faculty. The council will soon launch a program to match minority residents and fellows at Johns Hopkins with mentors, and another to recruit the best fourth-year minority medical school students from around the country for clerkships.
--Trent Stockton