Category: Health Magazine, Winter 2024

Title:Pipeline programs continue to set Georgetown apart

Author: Lauren M. Poteat
Date Published: January 12, 2024
people in white medical coats outside a building
This year’s cohort of Gateway Exploration Scholars, high school students from Washington, DC, who completed a six-week internship. Photo: Georgetown University

Though the Supreme Court’s June 2023 decision ended affirmative action in college admissions, Georgetown has long been working to support students from marginalized communities who are interested in learning more about medicine, nursing, health, and research.

Founded in 1977, the Georgetown Experimental Medical Studies (GEMS) program—a one-year, non-degree, post-baccalaureate program for students interested in medical careers—provides academic enrichment and customized advising to students from disadvantaged circumstances and underrepresented groups. The program is focused on building mastery in pre-med academics and enhancing confidence.

“I received the right exposure and learned to become an active, lifelong learner. I also learned to serve,” shares Lieutenant Colonel Gerard Antoine (M’98), a proud GEMS graduate. “I think the whole education process at Georgetown prepares students for service to humanity, and challenges them to keep learning so they can better serve their patients and communities.”

Another pipeline program for students from underrepresented groups, the Academy for Research, Clinical and Health Equity Scholarship (ARCHES), helps promising undergraduates build research and clinical skills over the summer. Many participants are first-generation college students.

“I think the biggest opportunity that I gained from ARCHES was professional opportunities that I otherwise would not have had anywhere else and a group of faculty who really treat you like family, want you to succeed, and give so much guidance,” says Rimsha Rana (M’24). “They stayed in touch with us even after we finished the program. It’s very individualized attention. It was truly a life-changing program.”

In addition to ARCHES, the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center has a partnership with the University of the District of Columbia so that students can earn a master’s in biology with a choice of focus: cancer biology; cancer prevention and control; or infectious diseases and general study. The partnership’s mission is to build a more diverse cancer research workforce.

Georgetown’s pipeline programs aren’t only for undergraduates and recent college graduates. The Gateway Exploration Program (GEP) is one of several summer programs for high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Local students from groups underrepresented in medicine are given the opportunity to take summer internships in various medical departments, while attending professional development workshops, lectures, and presentations led by medical school faculty.

During the six-week internship, students assist with health care administration, develop research and writing skills, network with mentors, and shadow Georgetown physicians. The internship concludes with capstone projects focused on community health.

More Stories

a man and a woman with binoculars look for birds in bright autumn foliage

Photo: Lisa Helfert How nurse-bioethicist Christine Grady (N’74, G’93) and her husband, new faculty member Anthony Fauci, live their commitment to public service, health, and each other In May 2023,…

a group of people stands in

The world is facing a silent but growing public health crisis—a decline in mental health and well-being. People’s experiences of negative emotions, such as sadness, worry, stress, and anger, have…

three women sit on a couch and two women stand behind them

Co-authors of The Game Plan: A Woman’s Guide to Becoming a Doctor and Living a Life in Medicine: (seated, left to right) Jessica Osborn, M.D.; Leah Matthews, M.D., MPH; Angela C.B.