Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program Expands To Include Dentistry

    • September 7, 2011

One of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s longest running national programs, the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program, will offer support to dental scholars starting with its 2012 application period. For more than 25 years, the well-known program has fostered diversity among U.S. medical school faculty, and will now work to do the same among dental school faculty.

“Our nation’s dental schools face a serious diversity gap. By expanding the mission of the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program, we aim to narrow this gap, help meet the oral health needs of the country’s most vulnerable individuals, and contribute to pioneering oral health research,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., president and chief executive officer of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Only 4.7 percent of full-time faculty members at U.S. dental schools are Black and 7.5 percent are Hispanic, according to the American Dental Education Association. Of the 4,600 graduates from U.S. dental schools, only 10.9 percent are Hispanic, Black, or American Indian.

Beginning with its 2012 application period, the Harold Amos program will fund one or more dentists. For four years, each dental scholar will conduct research in association with a senior faculty member located at an academic dental center noted for its training of young faculty and with the capacity to pursue lines of investigation of particular interest to the scholar.

The Harold Amos dental scholars will be selected based on their academic achievement, their commitment to academic research careers, and their potential to achieve senior rank in academic dentistry. Harold Amos scholars receive an annual stipend of up to $75,000 each, complemented by a $30,000 annual grant to support research activities. The Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program will begin accepting applications for its next grant cycle starting in February 2012.

As a result of the expansion, two new members from academic dentistry have joined the Harold Amos national advisory committee (NAC). The new NAC members are Francisco Ramos-Gomez, D.D.S., M.S., M.P.H., professor, Section of Pediatric Dentistry, UCLA School of Dentistry; and George W. Taylor, D.M.D., Dr.PH., the Leland A. and Gladys K. Barber Distinguished Professor in Dentistry and chair of the Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco School of Dentistry.

“The Harold Amos program will provide our new dental scholars with a professionally supportive environment and new opportunities to pursue innovative research that will advance oral health and dental care and help reduce disparities in oral health,” said James R. Gavin III, M.D., Ph.D., national program director for the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program. “As the program makes new inroads in developing dental faculty, we’re confident that it will continue to build on the inspiration of its namesake, the late Harold Amos, Ph.D., the first African-American to chair a department at the Harvard Medical School.”

The Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program (AMFDP), a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, works to increase the number of faculty from historically disadvantaged backgrounds who can achieve senior rank in academic medicine or dentistry, and who will encourage and foster the development of succeeding classes of such physicians and dentists. For more information, visit www.amfdp.org.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable and timely change. For nearly 40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org.