ADEA Men of Color in the Health Professions Initiative


Historically, men of color―including Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Southeast Asian American and/or Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander―throughout our nation have been heavily impacted by structural racism, biased institutions, health inequities and structural health disparities that continue to manifest in contemporary ways, particularly educational outcomes. One way to address health inequities and structural racism is to increase the number of historically underrepresented men of color graduating from the academic health professions.

As the recipient of a $50,000 base grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) in support of work to identify solutions that aid in the recruitment, matriculation, retention and graduation of historically underrepresented men in the health professions, ADEA is committed to furthering efforts to increase the representation of men of color in the health professions. Through the ADEA Men of Color in the Health Professions Initiative, with support from RWJF, ADEA looks to lead the coalition to end this crisis.

To further its goal, ADEA has hosted two gatherings where academic health professions associations discussed opportunities for collaborative strategic action and shared best practices.

Learn more about the two events hosted to date under this initiative:



August 2022 Summit Recap

The ADEA Men of Color in the Health Professions Summit in August 2022 brought together around 80 representatives from academic health professions associations, health professions schools, health-related research associations and other organizations. Experts and leaders in dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, nursing, social work, public health, optometry and biomedical research came together to discuss collective strategies and action items to increase the academic participation of men of color in the health professions.

During the two days, Summit attendees participated in workgroup brainstorming sessions regarding a potential consensus statement on underrepresented men of color in the health professions, the top challenges and opportunities in developing a coalition of health professions organizations to support men of color and a further exploration of coalition building. The group drafted a coalition consensus statement and charge for the coalition regarding the urgency and impact of the ongoing crisis of the lack of men of color in the health professions.

During the two days, as inspiration, attendees also heard pathway success stories and personal accounts of leadership and service. Day one featured a Q&A with David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., 16th Surgeon General of the United States, Founding Director and Senior Advisor of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse College of School of Medicine. Day two’s presentation by Christiana Rosenthal, D.D.S., focused on the Determined to be a Doctor Someday (D.D.S.) Pathway Program, which is held in conjunction with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) in Memphis and serves as an example of a successful, grassroots pathway program that caters to underrepresented students in the health professions.

Following are action items from the Summit:

  • Notes from the meeting will be used to develop a collective consensus statement. This document will be circulated to Summit participants for review and comment.
  • Dr. West will share the consensus statement and recommendations with Presidents/CEOs of the Federation of Associations of Schools of the Health Professions, academic health professions associations and other health professions organizations for discussion and next steps.

ADEA Men of Color in the Health Professions Resources

Photo gallery
Interview with Dr. Satcher (Video)

ADEA is proud to serve as a catalyst for change regarding the important issue of expanding opportunities for underrepresented men of color in health care by bringing together representatives from across the academic health professions, health professions associations, the research community and other key stakeholders