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The goal of the Health Equity Scholars program is to develop physician leaders with the knowledge and skills to promote health equity for historically marginalized communities.

What Is Health Equity?

Health equity is “the absence of disadvantage to individuals and communities in health outcomes, access to health care, and quality of health care regardless of one’s race, gender, nationality, age, ethnicity, religion and socioeconomic status.” (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)


We are looking for students who want to ensure that all individuals and communities have an opportunity for healthy lives. You do not have to be planning a career in primary care.

Selected students engage in a series of curricular and extracurricular activities with the goal of developing:

  • An understanding of social determinants of health
  • An ability to lead thoughtful discussion about challenging social and professional issues
  • Expertise in a specific area of population health or health disparities


Curriculum—Students will participate in 20 hours of service learning electives during their pre-clinical training

Extracurricular—Students volunteer 40 hours of direct service work by the start of their MS3 year, in an effort to learn about a community and organization while meeting a need. OSL staff will work with Scholars to determine what settings will best meet their learning needs.

Scholarship—Students will complete a scholarly project examining health equity issues, which can be completed during the summer between MS1 and MS2 and, if approved by the Scholarly Activity Director, can fulfil their Scholarly Activity requirement. The project can be traditional research, an education project, or even creation of original materials for community outreach. The OSL will assist you in developing your project plan.

Teaching—As an MS4, scholars will have the chance to teach pre-clinical students during their service learning activities. Four hours of teaching is required.

HES Program Trainings—Each year, students will have a chance to gather with their HES peers and learn more about health equity through a number of required sessions. In addition to an orientation and graduation ceremony, HES participate in a half-day retreat every semester. Third year medical students also complete a week-long Special Topic course in health equity in the spring.


The 2023 application cycle has closed.

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