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May 2022

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

For over two years our nation has been enmeshed in a confluence of several major catastrophes. The devastating impact of climate change across the country is now apparent to all but the most obtuse naysayers.  COVID-19 has killed over one million of us in the nation, more than the Great Flu Pandemic of 1918, and yet there are still those who say covid-19 is fake, a fraud- even as they die.   While in the midst of incomprehensible human and economic losses related to COVID, we are also observing increased fractionalization of our society and palpable concern for the viability of democracy as we know it in our country.  And yet, we hear some members of congress saying the January 6, 2021, insurrection was nothing more than tourists routinely visiting our capital.


COVID put a spotlight on well-known healthcare disparities in our country and  exposed our lack of preparedness and cohesive leadership to allow an optimal response to major challenges. COVID  has disproportionately  affected communities of color and those with limited financial and educational support. Contributors to the disparate impact of COVID in these groups include the high prevalence of underlying health conditions, poor access to healthcare, densely populated homes and neighborhoods, and overrepresentation among “essential” workers.  Analysis of these and other factors in the pandemic is essential to our honest understanding of disparities in health and health care.  

The AAMP was formed with the primary mission of helping to increase the number of underrepresented people in biomedical research, academic medicine and ultimately the national leadership. We call upon all of our colleagues and sister organizations that  care about the overall welfare of all people to join us to address, find and implement solutions for the health and social inequities that plague this country.  Working deliberately and actively together we can (1) advance leadership opportunities in biomedical research, academic medicine, and healthcare delivery; (2) increase opportunities and remove barriers to becoming health care professionals and practitioners -- particularly physicians; and (3) eliminate racial/ethnic disparities in health and health care.   


It has become obvious that to be successful in these goals, we as a nation must address “racism.”  After 400 years it is no longer acceptable to try to deny the racism that many of us face every day. It is no longer acceptable to express outrage and then move on to business as usual until the next outrageous event occurs. Racism will not disappear until it is as uncomfortable for those who are not personally affected as it is for those who are.  However, during these deeply troubling times, there may be a real opportunity to make progress to accelerate the development of sustainable solutions for addressing inequality and racial injustice as well as to accelerate greater diversity, inclusion, equity, improved healthcare access and outcomes in all of our communities. 


If we are to succeed, we must take on “structural racism” which permeates nearly all aspects of our society.  As pushback increases from many who credibly declare that they are not racist, it is critical to point out that decades of cultural divide have resulted in opinions, assumptions and actions that make many of our systems inherently racist. We may not have caused the situation, but we now own it, and we must fix it. It is virtually impossible to solve problems without knowledge. It is essential that folks must have that knowledge of the past in order to develop the cures for the future. It is time to push for effective dialog while the window is still open.



Congratulations to our 2022 Watkins-Saunders Award Winner!


Dr. Donald E. Wilson is a pioneer in the world of medicine. An esteemed board-certified physician, Dr. Wilson has over 200 publications in the fields of internal medicine, gastroenterology, health care and medical education. As the Dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine for 15 years, he made history as the nation's first African-American dean of an accredited non-minority medical school. In this role, Wilson focused his efforts on increasing diversity among the students & staff  and increasing the prestige of the university. During his tenure, the number of minority faculty nearly tripled and external research funding more than quadrupled, moving the medical school into the top 10% nationally of public medical schools in research funding. Dr. Wilson is a champion in the fight for health equity. In 1986, he co-founded the Association for Academic Minority Physicians, an organization dedicated to increasing the diversity of our nation’s biomedical and bio-scientific work forces. He continues to serve as a distinguished mentor for many & the American Heart Association is proud to recognize him as the 2022 Watkins-Saunders Award Winner.

Thank you, Dr. Wilson!





                                           ROBERT A. BARISH, M.D. appointed to Association of American Medical Colleges Board of Directors (AAMC) 
University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, Dr. Robert Barish has been appointed to the AAMC Board of Directors for  the 2022-2023 term beginning in November.

Association members represent all 155 accredited allopathic U.S. and 16 accredited Canadian medical schools; approximately 400 teaching hospitals and health systems, including Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 70 academic societies. The AAMC represents more than 191,000 full-time faculty members, 95,000 medical students, 149,000 resident physicians and 60,000 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the biomedical sciences.

Barish spent 24 years at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the University of Maryland Medical Center.  He served as chief of emergency medicine from 1985 to 1996, was named associate dean for clinical affairs in 1998 and became vice dean for clinical affairs in 2005.  Barish was chancellor of the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center at Shreveport from 2009 to 2015.  He became vice chancellor of health affairs at UIC in 2015.





The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has announced that over the next decade it will  commit $1.5 billion to support up to 150 early-career scientists from underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds, covering their salaries, a research budget, equipment, and other costs In recognition of his decades of achievement in this area, the program will be named in honor of Dr. Hrabowski. 

Dr. Hrabowski, a former keynote speaker at the AAMP annual scientific meeting, retires this year after 30 years of outstanding leadership as president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). During his tenure UMBC achieved the highest level of research designation for universities in the nation, Carnegie Research 1.




Dr. Yvette L. Rooks
(AAMP Member)
Director of Sports Medicine/Head Team Physician
University of Maryland at College Park


Dr. Yvette L. Rooks was selected to become the first black female physician to serve on the National Football League (NFL)  General Medical Committee .  The NFL General Medical Committee is composed of independent and NFL-affiliated medical professionals and focuses on medical issues relevant to the health and safety of active NFL players.  Specifically, they advise the NFL on medical policies, procedures and protocols; determine and advise the NFL on medical best practices; identify and recommend medical research that impacts the health and safety of active NFL players, and oversee research when requested by the NFL. Yvette Rooks. MD, joins other investigators in Big Ten Health Registry to Study Heart Inflammation in Athletes Recovering from COVID-19.  

Researchers at University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) collaborate in development of extensive heart registry in the Big Ten Athletic Conference, to learn more about cardiac issues in student athletes who have recovered from COVID-19 infection.

“Myocarditis is one of the leading causes of sudden death in elite athletes. It is very rare, but it is tragic whenever it happens,” said Michael Terrin, MD, Professor of Epidemiology & Public Health at UMSOM, who leads the epidemiology core lab for the registry. “We are trying to determine whether COVID-19 infections will cause a rise in these rare events, and whether there are any long-term impacts on the heart muscle.”

 “There is a real dearth of information regarding cardiac manifestations in elite athletes who test positive for COVID-19, and we are hoping that this registry will answer some pressing questions regarding short- and long-term effects of this infection,” said Geoffrey Rosenthal, MD, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics at UMSOM and coordinator for the six core labs that make up the registry, two of which are located at UMSOM.

A study published last year in JAMA Cardiology,  examined medical records from nearly 1,600 student athletes who had COVID-19 before vaccines became available. While 2.3 percent developed myocarditis, an incidence similar to that in the general COVID-19 population, only 24 percent of the athletes were symptomatic. The myocarditis would have been missed without the findings from cardiac magnetic resonance imaging.  Jean Jeudy, MD, Professor of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine at UMSOM, who leads the registry cardiac MRI core lab registry stresses the importance of following these athletes with appropriate studies.

“Integrating cardiac care for COVID-19 with the multi-disciplinary care our student-athletes already receive enabled us to fulfill a unique set of health needs,” said Yvette Rooks, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Family & Community Medicine, UMSOM w ho is a co-investigator on the registry and Head Team Physician at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP).




Dr. Elizabeth Ofili
(AAMP President)

Professor of Medicine/Cardiology Chief Medical Officer
Morehouse Choice Accountable Care Organization 
Morehouse School of Medicine

Morehouse School of Medicine, with Dr. Elizabeth Ofili (AAMP President) as principal investigator has received a NIH Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation (FIRST) Coordination and Evaluation Center (CEC).  The purpose of the NIH Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation (FIRST) Coordination and Evaluation Center (CEC), is to coordinate and facilitate the development of strategies with FIRST Cohort awardees to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the FIRST program. The overall objective of the FIRST Coordination and Evaluation Center (CEC) at MSM is to conduct a comprehensive evaluation grounded in realist evaluation theory, by collaborating with FIRST Cohort awardees to iteratively assess the impact of key institutional culture change strategies and other innovative approaches implemented at FIRST Cohort sites to promote inclusive excellence.


The NIH FIRST Cohort program aims to transform culture at NIH-funded extramural institutions by building a self-reinforcing community of scientists committed to inclusive excellence, through recruitment of a diverse group of early-career faculty who are competitive for an advertised research tenure-track or equivalent faculty position and who have demonstrated strong commitment to promoting diversity and inclusive excellence. The ultimate goal of the FIRST program is to employ a faculty cohort model to foster cultures of inclusive excellence (scientific environments that can cultivate and benefit from a full range of talents) at NIH-funded institutions with a sustained commitment to diversity and inclusion in biomedical research.


The Morehouse FIRST CEC award of nearly $9.5 million runs until July 2027.


Dr. Yvette L. Rooks Pic.jpg
Dr. Robert Barrish Pic.jpg

AAMP Introduces the new membership category of Emeritus

If you have been a member at least 15 years, have reached 70 years of age, and have paid dues or made donations in two of the last five years, then click below, complete the application and submit according to the instructions. Benefits include dues reduction to $125, registration costs of the annual meeting and a copy of the program and abstract booklet.


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