Black Medical Students Scholarship

Funded by
Mechanism Ventures
Learn more about the Donor
1 winner
Application Deadline
Mar 11, 2021
Winners Announced
Apr 11, 2021
Education Level
Graduate, Undergraduate
Eligibility Requirements
African American
African American

Talent is evenly distributed, but opportunity is not.

Despite African-Americans making up 13.4% of the nation’s population, just 5% of physicians are Black.

This representation problem is also a quality of care problem, as doctors are more likely to evaluate Black patients’ pain as less than that of white patients with the same symptoms. Numerous studies show that patients of color feel less safe with doctors than White patients, and also see improved health outcomes when they see Black doctors.

Addressing this problem will take dedication and collaboration across the government, public health, and education sectors.

As one small part of this, the Black Medical Students Scholarship will be awarded to a current or future Black medical student across any medical specialty.

This scholarship is part of the Mechanism Ventures Impact Grants Series.

Diversity and Inclusion
Selection Criteria:
Impact, Drive

Scholarship application

Essay Topic

Please tell us a bit about yourself. What do you hope to achieve in your career in medicine, and how are you preparing yourself to achieve it?

500–1000 words

Winning Application

Taylor Hall
University of California-San FranciscoAtlanta, GA
As a Black woman growing up in the South, there were few role models for how to become a physician. However, seeing my grandmother’s struggles with Lupus and my mom’s experiences during her abusive relationship with my father gave me plenty of exposure to what it is like to be a patient of color: A vulnerable experience of facing difficult circumstances and fearing for your health. I still often wonder whether a more attentive healthcare provider would have diagnosed the sepsis that ultimately killed my grandmother during her final year of life. Her death gave me a bleak look at how our healthcare system often fails older people--especially those who look like I do. Though I have wanted to be a physician since I was young, that experience reinforced the important role physicians of color play in promoting health equity in vulnerable communities and continues to motivate me to pursue a career in medicine. I aspire to facilitate improvements in the health of our society by starting at the individual level because I can make direct connections with people and see tangible results. I believe firmly that my commitment to excellence, high moral standard, leadership, and community involvement will enable me to become a competent and caring physician. But, in order to see what it would take to become a physician, I had to actively seek out a social network that would help propel me toward my goals. Winning the Posse Foundation Scholarship for students with leadership potential during my senior year of high school changed my life because it gave me a phenomenal mentor and exposed me to invaluable character-developing workshops. This program motivated me to step out of my comfort zone and take on many roles throughout my college years that facilitated the development of my passion for medicine. My newfound network of peers and mentors encouraged me to apply to research programs that I didn’t think would accept me, but they did. These programs allowed me to develop creativity and problem-solving skills as well as the courage that is essential to persevere from uncomfortable failures. After college, I became an AmeriCorps service member at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. Working at Grady felt like a full-circle moment—it was the hospital where my grandmother was treated for lupus flares and the looming landmark that I passed every day on my way home from school. My personal and AmeriCorps experience at Grady has molded me into a patient advocate that manages emergent situations with empathy. It has informed how I address patients, family members, and healthcare providers. Most importantly, it reinforced how important healthcare workforce diversity is to the progress of underserved individuals within our healthcare system. As a physician, I aim to help break the cycle of poor health outcomes that plague marginalized individuals. By using my future expertise in medicine and emotional intelligence, I will help facilitate my patients’ involvement in the management of their own health conditions. Though this will be challenging, I remain excited by the prospect of promoting advancements in communities that have been ignored historically. My personal, educational, and professional experiences make me confident in my ability to be a dynamic healthcare provider. My career goal is to break down the barriers to health equity that impact underserved individuals. In the future, I want to remain in academic medicine as a teaching physician, in order to mentor students of color and provide colleagues and institutions with opportunities for improvement. I will also be there to support my peers if I notice that they are having a tough time. As a physician, I will understand that my patients are more than just their medical record numbers, that they are people first and that they deserve respect. Though I know it will not always be easy, I am excited to continue to make a difference and become the person that people, like my mom and Granny, can depend on to ensure that they leave the hospital with their health, identity, and dignity intact.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Mar 11, 2021. Winners will be announced on Apr 11, 2021.