Kathryn Flores, M.D., family physician and associate clinical professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine based at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Fresno Campus, led the creation of the Doctors Academy. The Academy seeks to help young people in middle school and high school from disadvantaged and underrepresented communities prepare for careers in medicine and other health professions.
The Doctors Academy was one of 26 sites supported through the Health Professions Partnership Initiative (HPPI) program, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Through HPPI, academic health centers partnered with local school districts, colleges and community organizations to enhance the academic preparation of minority students and nurture their interest in health careers. During the program, which ran from 1995 to 2005, the 26 partnerships pursued a variety of strategies to meet the goals, including magnet high schools, Saturday academies, summer camps, mentoring relationships and teacher training programs.
Flores and her efforts to help students through the Doctors Academy were highlighted on NBC Nightly News.