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Academic Pediatric Association honors VUMC’s Walls

May. 8, 2014, 9:16 AM

Morgan Walls, M.D., a second-year resident in Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, has been named an Academic Pediatric Association (APA) New Century Scholar.

Morgan Walls, M.D.

In an effort to increase workforce diversity in academic pediatrics, the APA has created a mentorship program targeting under-represented minority (URM) pediatric residents interested in academic careers. URM is defined as a group whose representation in medicine is less than that in the general population.

Walls and five other residents from across the country were named to the Class of 2014 New Century Scholars. Each participant is interested in racial/ethnic health disparities, minority child health and development, sociocultural determinants of health and cultural competency.

“This program is a real opportunity for mentorship,” said Walls. “It will be great to meet with others who are interested in pediatrics, health disparities and increasing minority recruitment and diversity within medicine.

“The mentors and others I will come in contact with have paved the path and I am looking forward to learning from them and getting advice about where I can take my own career.”

Each scholar will be matched with junior and senior mentors who will provide ongoing support to the scholar during their residency and beyond. Junior mentors are typically fellows and junior faculty while senior mentors are senior faculty APA members who are educators or researchers

“The selection of Dr. Walls for this highly competitive position serves as a means to potentially keep her in the pipeline for an academic faculty position,” said Andre Churchwell, M.D., senior associate dean for Diversity Affairs at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

“Her selection may offer us an opportunity to address the inadequate 2.9 percent representation that African-Americans contribute to the academic faculty workforce.”

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