Background / History
The Association for Academic Minority Physicians, Inc., (AAMP), was formed in 1986 by six minority academicians (FOUNDERS), who held prominent and visible positions:
Carroll M. Leevy* Professor and Chair of Medicine, New Jersey Medical School
Louis W. Sullivan President, Morehouse School of Medicine
Gerald Thomson Associate Dean, Columbia University School of Medicine
John Townsend* Professor and Chair of Medicine, Howard University College of Medicine
Bruce W. Trotman Professor and Chair of Medicine, Meharry Medical College
Donald E. Wilson Professor and Chair of Medicine, SUNY Health Sciences Center at Brooklyn
The FOUNDERS had previously discussed the striking absence of minorities in academic medicine, particularly in leadership positions. They noted as well the lack of progress in increasing underrepresented minority representation in these areas. For example, under-represented minorities accounted for only 3% of U.S. medical school faculty 1.9% of professors, and no academic Dean, (except for traditionally minority schools). Moreover, a significant number of the 3% minority faculty was in the traditional minority schools such as Howard, Meharry, Morehouse and Drew. The lack of minority representation (role models) failed to provide a stimulus for young minority students to enter into medical careers. All of this translates into not only less progress academically, but also poorer health care in the U.S. for minority populations.
The FOUNDERS of the AAMP sought to provide a forum for scientific exchange, a clearinghouse for minority academic opportunities, an impetus for more effective utilization of programs targeted toward minorities, and also to develop support for increased training of minorities, particularly at the entry level. On February 25, 1991, the AAMP co-sponsored with HRSA a national consensus meeting in Rockville, Maryland to address these issues.
The AAMP has held thirty-five successful scientific meetings from 1987 through 20 and has supported travel fellowships for young investigators and medical students to attend the meetings. The AAMP has a national reputation as an organization dedicated to working on behalf of minorities to effect change. The AAMP established a journal (JAAMP), which was published for eighteen years. The JAAMP is no longer published due to increasing costs.
From1992 until 2000 with support from the Merck Company Foundation, the AAMP co-sponsored summer research fellowships for minority medical students. With support from SmithKline Beecham, the AAMP also sponsored junior faculty research awards.
Increasing support of the AAMP mission must be forthcoming from a variety of sources, especially the federal government. Considering projections indicating that in the year 2030 over 50% of the U.S. population will be “minority,” it is essential that we do all possible to prepare this work force, particularly in the areas of health care, research and education. The AAMP welcomes inquiries and your support.