‘Who you give a lot, you need a lot’: Bloomberg’s giveaway propels new black doctors into a less busy future
WASHINGTON – A year ago, medical students across the country experienced abrupt changes in their education in the final weeks of the semester. But navigating the next chapter in life will likely be a lot easier for the country’s new black doctors thanks to last year’s big donation from Bloomberg Philanthropies.
Last September, Mike Bloomberg and Bloomberg Philanthropies donated $ 32.8 million to fund scholarships for current Howard University College of Medicine students in financial need. The Bloomberg gift was the largest gift in college history.
Howard’s first batch of medical students to benefit from the Bloomberg giveaway recognized how potentially life-changing the prize is likely to be as they enter the next phase of their careers.
“The Bloomberg giveaway was definitely a pleasant surprise, especially during all the stress of the pandemic,” said James Clemmons, 29, from Columbus, Ga, who will soon begin training as an orthopedic surgeon. “It’s one thing to talk about the importance of black doctors and another to put money behind this initiative. It shows a deep commitment to actually producing change and providing equitable health care to our country. “
The Bloomberg giveaway was part of a total of $ 100 million awarded to the country’s four historically black medical schools over the next four years to help increase the number of black doctors. For the students who benefited from the scholarship, this meant a reduction in loan repayments of up to $ 100,000. Medical school can typically cost students and their families from $ 200,000 to $ 300,000.
“We need a lot to whom we give a lot”, says Cherna Cherfrere, 27, born in Haiti and raised in South Florida. Cherfrere graduated from medical school this spring and has several more years of training ahead of her as she pursues her dream of becoming a cardiologist.
Cherfrere said she learned of the award’s existence after a stressful board review. “My roommate texted me that Bloomberg donated $ 100 million to black medical schools. “As a first generation medical student and first generation student, this donation will ease the debt burden accumulated during my medical studies and allow me to fill positions appropriate to under-represented populations. For me, the school was entirely paid for by loans. And this is the reality for the majority of minority students. “
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Cherfrere said his family members are asking him to diagnose them with the disease.
“People put their lives in your hands,” she says. “They admire you and trust you because you have the title of doctor. We trained for it. Howard University has prepared us for this.
Tarah Celestin, 31, a graduate medical student from Flushing Queens, New York, said the reduced financial burden will help put black doctors on an equal footing with their peers in the industry.
“We tend not to have as much financial support and therefore take more loans. It’s a huge burden that is being taken away from us, ”said Célestin, who plans to pursue a career as a pediatrician and pediatrician.
Pictured: Howard University College of Medicine students Cherna Cherfrere and James Clemmons celebrate with their families.
About Howard University
Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private research university that includes 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue more than 140 degree programs leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to excellence in truth and service and has produced one Schwarzman Scholar, three Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 12 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and over 165 Fulbright Fellows. Howard also produces more African American doctorates on campus. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.
Media Contact: Sholnn Freeman, Senior Communications Specialist, [email protected]