| A Message
from the President and CEO :
There is a clear nexus between NMF's mission and the long-overdue repair of America's health care delivery system.
For years, study after study has concluded that proportionate minority representation in the medical profession is a
prerequisite to the availability of high quality care for all Americans. The reason is simple.
To operate efficiently, our massive health care delivery system must maintain a fine equilibrium.
Inequities in any part of that system, though not immediately apparent, will inevitably create an imbalance in the entire system.
For this reason, the chronic under-serving of large segments of our minority populations has become more than just a national embarrassment.
It has evolved into a systemic problem with tangible impacts on the cost, quality and accessibility of health care for all Americans.
The connection between increased minority representation in the physician ranks and improved health care distribution has long been
universally recognized and accepted. This recognition is very significant. Competing interests have proposed radically different
plans for solving (what those competing interests perceive as) the problems of our health care system. Yet, all sides readily agree
on the need for increased minority representation within the physician ranks.
Viewed another way, we have before us a unique opportunity - and, I would argue, a moral obligation - to join forces in promoting
increased numbers of minority physicians. The most direct route to our common goal is supporting the work of National Medical Fellowships.
Think of what your contribution to NMF accomplishes. On the most immediate level, it helps talented minority students shoulder the
incredible financial burdens of medical school. But thatís only the beginning. Your contribution tells the next generation of
talented minority students that a medical degree is not beyond their dreams or their limited resources. It tells under-resourced,
demoralized populations that their problems are real, recognized and addressable. And it tells the world that American private citizens
and private enterprise can do more than simply accumulate wealth. Operating in a spirit of cooperation, we can move toward a meaningful
solution to the problem of health care inequality - one of the most corrosive and seemingly intractable problems ever to beset this country.
Our first goal is - and will remain - to multiply and amplify the programs, affiliations and contributions that result in increased financial
aid for needy minority medical students. At the same time, the scope of NMF activities is undergoing a period of expansion. Two years ago, we
launched a partnership with GE to create a series of two-month, fully funded internships in Ghana. NMF/GE scholars participating in this program
are immersed in the day-to-day demands of a grossly underdeveloped healthcare system in one of the poorer parts of the world. In the process,
these scholars are being sensitized to the significance of even their most fundamental medical skills and their individual capacities to make a
dramatic difference in the lives of hundreds, if not thousands of people. The impact of these experiences will last a lifetime and will be positively
factored into many aspects of a great many medical careers. Several similar programs are planned for the near future.
Clearly, we are proud of the role National Medical Fellowships plays in fostering the best possible health care for all Americans.
By the same token, our success is wholly dependent on your understanding of our mission and your willingness to support us. With that in mind,
I would encourage you to explore the remainder of this web site and to gain a deeper insight into what we do and what we must still accomplish.
And then I would ask you to be as generous as you can possibly be in supporting the work of National Medical Fellowships.
For them - for us - for our future.
Esther R. Dyer