Seven underrepresented minority in medicine (URMM) junior faculty members from family medicine departments across the nation spent several days at ECU’s Brody School of Medicine for mentorship in scholarship and manuscript writing.

The writing skills workshop for underrepresented minorities in medicine was part of a yearlong faculty development program and was funded with a grant from the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Foundation (STFM) with support from Brody and the University of Utah Health Sciences Campus.

Groups that the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) considers underrepresented minorities in medicine are black or African American, Hispanic or Latino and Native American. According to the AAMC, only 4% of full-time faculty are URMM, which is far below these minorities’ representation in the general population.

During their visit, the scholars toured the Health Sciences Campus, built professional bonds with each other and gleaned knowledge from workshop leaders including Dr. Kendall Campbell, Brody’s senior associate dean for academic affairs, associate professor of family medicine, director of Brody’s Research Group for Underrepresented Minorities in Academic Medicine and one of the event’s organizers.

“This two-day experience has been part of a yearlong mentoring process in essential writing skills, in how to contribute to the body of knowledge in medicine and in how to develop a reproducible path to scholarship and promotion,” Campbell said. “Our goal is that they leave here with a framework for publishing at their home institutions and producing scholarly products.”

Dr. Maria Harsha Wusu, assistant professor of family medicine at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, said the workshop inspired her to propel her academic career to a new level.

“The STFM URM Writing Fellowship Workshop provided a safe space where I could let down the armor I often wear as a black woman in academic medicine,” Wusu said. “As a group of peers and mentors of color, we were able to discuss shared challenges in a way that validated our individual experiences in the context of systemic problems and moved towards solutions.”

Campbell said the workshop was successful based on the ideas that were shared and the guidance that helped leaders and participants form a strong network.

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Originally published Nov. 7, 2019.