Meharry Medical College announces joint M.D./Ph.D. program with Wharton Health Care Management

(l-r) James Hildreth, Sr. A. Dexter Samuels

Meharry Medical College and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School Health Care Management (HCM) Department recently announced a joined M.D./Ph.D. program to foster more diversity in health care that will launch in 2021. This partnership represents the first of its kind for both institutions and will create new opportunities for students interested in clinical practice and policy administration.

“It is an honor for Meharry to continue its legacy of service by amplifying the voices of those involved in health care and health policy throughout minority communities,” said Dr. James E. K. Hildreth, Ph.D., M.D., president/CEO of Meharry Medical College. “We are thrilled to unite with a prominent institution such as the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School Health Care Management to take essential steps to diversify the landscape of the health care workforce.”

The new Meharry/Wharton alliance serves as a continuance of a long-existing collaboration between Wharton, the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI) and Meharry’s Center for Health Policy. The joined M.D./Ph.D. program will further both institutions efforts to bolster minority influence in health care and increase participation by members of underrepresented communities in health research.

Since 2012, Meharry’s leadership team has been involved in LDI’s annual Summer Undergraduate Minority Research program, which provides undergraduate students from underrepresented groups with the opportunity to participate in a summer research and mentorship program. This on-going collaboration influenced the development of the joined M.D./Ph.D. program.

The Wharton HCM Department is the oldest one of its kind in the country, providing comprehensive education in all areas of health care management. Launched in 1985, its doctoral program is famed for producing health care management and economics alumni who have become scholars of international renown.

Meharry Medical College was the country’s first medical school for African Americans. One hundred and forty-four years later, it remains the largest Historically Black institution dedicated to the education of health care professionals and scientists.

“Fostering a more diverse health care arena has been Meharry Medical College’s goal since our founding,” said Senior Vice President for Student Affairs and Executive Director of the Center for Health Policy at Meharry A. Dexter Samuels, Ph.D., MHA. “We are so proud of the collaboration we have maintained with LDI over the years, and this agreement is another example of our combined efforts to change the landscape of the health care workforce.”