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Academic Pediatric Association honors VUMC’s Ruiz

Mar. 5, 2015, 8:07 AM

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

Rachel Ruiz, M.D.

The New Century Scholar program aims to increase diversity within the academic general pediatric workforce by selecting underrepresented minority (URM) pediatric residents who pursue careers in general pediatrics or related fields like behavioral and developmental pediatrics and adolescent medicine. URM is defined as a group whose representation in medicine is less than that in the general population.

Participants in the program show interest in racial/ethnic health disparities, minority child health and development, sociocultural determinants of health and cultural competency.

The program seeks to decrease racial/ethnic disparities in health care by increasing the number of minority pediatricians who work in academic settings.

“I am thrilled to have been chosen to this year’s APA New Century Scholars Program. I am passionate about improving health outcomes in our underserved and underrepresented communities through research and advocacy,” Ruiz said.

“With the mentorship and support the APA New Century Scholars Program provides, I am confident that I will continue to grow as a researcher and advocate for these communities. Ultimately, I hope to play an integral role in eliminating health disparities among children in underserved and underrepresented communities.”

The program provides scholars with information about careers in academic medicine, career counseling and mentors and role models in pediatrics. Each scholar is matched with junior and senior mentors who 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.

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