Student looks forward to the future of diversity in medicine

Diversity at MUSC

Asia Edwards has dreams of becoming a medical doctor.

The College of Charleston senior is a first generation college student maintaining a 3.5 GPA and preparing for the MCAT.

She doesn't have much spare time, but uses what she has to bring diversity to both the College of Charleston and MUSC.

Edwards said her dream of becoming a doctor started at an early age.

"Ever since I was 3, I got a new doctors kits for Christmas, I had a white coat," she said.

Edwards believes diversity is needed in hospitals and doctors offices and that sometimes, students aren't encouraged to chase their dreams.

"Some people are telling minority students that they shouldn't be doctors or that maybe they should go PA school or just be a nurse,"

Edwards hopes the new Minorities in Medicine initiative will help minority students aspiring to become doctors.

"There's a disparity in healthcare between minorities and non-minorities. So sometimes it can be discouraging going to a doctor you don't know and thinking that they're not going to be familiar with you." said Edwards.

Officials at MUSC agreed; they told us that last year, 19 percent of MUSC graduates were underrepresented minorities.

Chris Powers, Manager of Recruitment and Diversity, helped create the Minorities in Medicine program.

"We discovered there was a need for it because more and more minorities have reached out for resources to go into medicine or becoming a physician," he said.

He said that he hopes this will bridge the gap he thinks is often ignored and create opportunities for underrepresented minorities.

"Underrepresented minorities could mean ethnicity, could mean your background, could be from a rural area, as well as a person of African-American descent or Hispanic as well," he said.

Kenyatta Grimmage, who works directly with students in the Office of Admissions said he hopes this will be a beginning of new relationships.

"We hope that it turns into a mentorship program where we have doctors, faculty and staff and current medical students that will wrap their arms around these students that want to go to medical school that want to show them the ropes."

Monday's panel forum is open to all students and medical professionals. It starts at 6:00 p.m. at the office of admissions on the College of Charleston campus.

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