Mentoring in Medical Careers for Black High School Students

Would you be surprised to learn that the United States has fewer Black doctors — just 5 percent of practicing physicians identify as Black — than the country did in the 1970s?

One effort to address that disparity is the Physician Track Program, recently spotlighted in 6ABC Action News’s “Hometown Hero” segment. The initiative was created by Emergency Medicine physician Peter Sananman, MD and General Surgery resident Sanford Roberts, MD to guide Black male high school students toward a career in medicine by pairing them with mentors in the field, providing a glimpse into clinical training, and offering academic assistance as well as recommendation letters upon completion of the two-year program.

“It’s really important to show people like me these opportunities that are out there,” said Seydou Toure, a graduate of the Physician Track Program who is now working for Penn Urgent Care and planning to become a nurse.

Lamin Sonko, MD, MBA, an Emergency Medicine resident and Physician Track mentor, recently received a recent CAREs grant for Physician Track. Penn Medicine CAREs grants are awarded quarterly to a variety of community-outreach programs spearheaded or supported by Penn Medicine faculty, staff, students, and trainees.


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