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Morgan and Hopkins ought to be partners in health care | READER COMMENTARY

In this Feb. 26, 2019 photo, people walk across a quad at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. This private research institution includes one of the world's foremost medical schools. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
In this Feb. 26, 2019 photo, people walk across a quad at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. This private research institution includes one of the world's foremost medical schools. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Can a 13-minute drive still be worlds apart? Yes, it’s the distance from the admissions office of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine to the campus of Morgan State University. Sadly, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a glaring example of the disparities in graduate medical education and more broadly, of the health care system in Maryland (”Maryland adds 2,280 new coronavirus cases, 21 new deaths a day after Christmas,” Dec. 26).

On December 28, the Maryland COVID-19 Data Dashboard reported 269,183 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 5,573 deaths so far. Strikingly, some of the highest-affected zip codes are sprinkled between the campuses of Johns Hopkins and Morgan State. At Morgan, which currently awards degrees in 15 doctoral programs, 30 master’s programs, and more than 40 baccalaureate programs, students are admitted to graduate medical education programs across the country, but a pipeline doesn’t exist with its neighbor Johns Hopkins. It should.

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Recently, Morehouse School of Medicine, another historically Black medical school, and health care company Common Spirit Health announced an initiative to develop a pipeline of doctors who are Black. A partnership between Morgan and Hopkins could achieve similar goals. According to Johns Hopkins, the 482 current M.D. candidates at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine are themselves a “distinguished group” hailing from 44 states and nine foreign countries but somehow consistently overlook students 3.5 miles away on Morgan’s campus.

A jointly issued medical degree program could create a pipeline of primary care providers. Morgan students’ diversity and individuality will contribute to the vibrancy of the Johns Hopkins community. If only Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Morgan State University would take the necessary steps to obtain approval of a jointly issued medical degree.

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Mark M. Spradley, Chevy Chase

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