Minority and underrepresented scholarship programs

Photo of 4 scholarship winners

Health Equity and Leadership Scholars Program

The Health Equity and Leadership Scholars Program (HEAL) is an initiative designed to encourage diversity in the physician workforce in Grand Rapids, Michigan by providing scholarships for resident physicians from underrepresented minority backgrounds.

HEAL scholars pursue a health equity project involving leadership, advocacy, scholarship, and/or community engagement. Each scholar is paired with a Spectrum Health and County Health Department faculty mentor. Scholars also serve as a mentor for a medical student from an underrepresented background.

Each academic year, two resident physicians are accepted into the program. HEAL Scholars receive a $10,000 scholarship their first year and a $5,000 scholarship each year thereafter throughout residency. Upon graduation, HEAL scholars may be eligible to receive an additional $5,000 if they choose to stay and practice in West Michigan and Spectrum Health.

Eligibility

  • Scholars must be enrolled in one of Spectrum Health/Michigan State University College of Human Medicine 3-year primary care residency programs (pediatrics, internal medicine, family medicine) or the emergency medicine residency program. 
  • Scholars must be from an underrepresented minority background (African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaska Native or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander)

How to Apply

Applications are accepted each year after Match Day and until May 1. To apply, complete the application form and email to residentdiversity@spectrumhealth.org.

Congratulations to the 2022-2023 Health Equity and Leadership Scholars!

Dr. Antonia Fomunyam attended medical school at Ross University and is a first-year internal medicine resident. Dr. Fomunyam wants to contribute to a health care environment where clinical outcomes are not determined by social positions or circumstances.

Dr. Janene Berli attended medical school at the University of Michigan and is a first-year internal medicine resident. Dr. Berli believes that everyone deserves the opportunity to be healthy and as a health advocate, examines the social factors that have a greater impact than pathophysiology itself, especially for the disadvantaged.

2022 HEAL scholar headshots

Minority Visiting Scholars Program

Program overview

The Minority Visiting Scholars Program (MVSP) is sponsored by the Spectrum Health Office of Research and Education as a supplement to our visiting learner program for medical students. MVSP is a specialized away rotation that provides mentoring and networking for fourth year and qualified third year medical students who are underrepresented in medicine, including racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+-identified and gender nonconforming individuals, individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds and those with disabilities.

The mission of MVSP is to enrich medical education, advance research and strengthen clinical care by fostering equity in opportunities. Spectrum Health is committed to creating a graduate medical education space that is inclusive, intersectional and free from bias – both conscious and unconscious. We strive to recruit a resident class that reflects the diversity and intersectionality of our community.

Highlights

  • Up to $1,500 scholarship awarded to MVSP scholars, including reimbursement for housing, travel and expenses associated with participating in the learning program. MVSP scholars who complete their rotation will be reimbursed at the end of the rotation. Incurred expenses for travel and other associated expense receipts and MVSP program evaluation must be submitted to residentdiversity@spectrumhealth.org within 30 days of rotation completion.
  • Includes a four-week rotation on clinical shifts, didactics and simulation with attending physicians and resident physicians.
  • MVSP scholars will have the opportunity to attend all residency educational activities.
  • Mentoring opportunities from faculty member in specialty of interest.
Eligibility
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Applicants must be full-time fourth year medical students who are from an underrepresented group (including racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+-identified and gender nonconforming individuals, individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds and those with disabilities) and are in good standing at a LCME-accredited U.S. medical school. Third year students who have completed their core clerkships in medicine, surgery, pediatrics and obstetrics may also apply.

Housing
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Selected scholars may elect to secure housing through our partnership with Grand Valley State University. Housing is based on availability and will be deducted from the scholarship. If no availability, scholars will be responsible for securing housing. Contact residentdiversity@spectrumhealth.org if you would like to seek housing through our partnership.

The following amenities are included:

  • Fully furnished apartments with kitchenette and wireless internet connection
  • Free parking in adjacent parking lot
  • On-site laundry, exercise center and 24-hour public safety and on call emergency
  • Located on The Rapid bus line and walking distance to restaurants, museums and more
Mentoring and networking
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MVSP scholars are assigned a faculty advisor and provided with opportunities to network with Spectrum Health faculty, attending physicians, residents, fellows and staff. Mentoring and networking is designed to:

  • Increase awareness of opportunities in academic and community medicine
  • Provide access to our diverse workforce and professional relationship-building
  • Offer exposure to the residency and fellowship programs available at Spectrum Health
How to apply
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Applications for the Minority Visiting Scholars Program can be submitted starting April 1 for the next academic year starting in July. MVSP applications will be accepted through June 1. Notification of student's application status will be provided via email within three weeks of receiving the application.

The application process requires two separate applications, the Visiting Student Learning Opportunities application, which allows students to register for an elective at Spectrum Health, and the MVSP application which awards the financial support.

  1. Complete the VSLO application and upload all required documents
  2. Complete the Spectrum Health MVSP application and email completed application and CV to residentdiversity@spectrumhealth.org

All visiting medical student applications must be submitted through the Visiting Student Learning Opportunities program. Applications should be submitted at least three months (90 days) prior to the student’s requested rotation.

The application timeline mirrors the timing for the Visiting Student Learning Opportunities program. VSLO applications are accepted for approximately one year, depending on availability, and will close completely when the next VSLO application cycle opens. VSLO is always available to view electives beginning March 1 of each year.

Racism is a Public Health Crisis

We pledge to take on the challenge to eliminate racism and its impacts on health, hope and lives.