Share this article on:

New Century Scholars: A Mentorship Program to Increase Workforce Diversity in Academic Pediatrics

Pachter, Lee M. DO; Kodjo, Cheryl MD, MPH

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000669
AM Rounds Blog Post

This article describes a program aimed to increase workforce diversity and underrepresented minority (URM) representation in academic pediatric medicine. The New Century Scholars (NCScholars) program is a core program in the Academic Pediatric Association, the largest national organization for academic pediatric generalists. The program selects URM pediatric (or medicine–pediatrics) residents who are interested in academic careers and provides each NCScholar with a junior and senior mentor, as well as travel grants to the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting where activities specific to the program are held, and provides ongoing mentorship and career counseling support.

The authors discuss the origination, operation, and changes to the program over the first 10 years of its existence, as well as outcome data for the participants in the program. To date, 60 of the 63 NCScholars have finished residency and/or have made postresidency plans, and 38 of these URM pediatricians (63%) have entered academic careers. The authors suggest that this type of mentorship program for URM pediatric trainees can be used as a model for other specialties and medical organizations.

L.M. Pachter is professor of pediatrics, chief of general pediatrics, and associate chair for community pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Drexel University College of Medicine and St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and director, Academic Pediatric Association New Century Scholars Program.

C. Kodjo is associate professor of pediatrics, Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, and associate dean for advising, University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, New York, and codirector, Academic Pediatric Association New Century Scholars Program.

An AM Rounds blog post on this article is available at

Funding/Support: The authors would like to thank the past funders of the APA New Century Scholars program: W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Aetna Foundation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, the DC–Baltimore Center on Child Health Disparities, and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Other disclosures: None reported.

Ethical approval: Reported as not applicable.

Correspondence should be addressed to Lee M. Pachter, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, 3601 A St., Philadelphia, PA 19134; telephone: (215) 427-8905; e-mail:

© 2015 by the Association of American Medical Colleges