Meharry Pipeline Programs

Helping Young Minds Achieve Greatness

Through mentoring programs, teacher support and special projects, the time and expertise of Meharry faculty, staff, students and senior administration are committed to providing institutional resources toward these “pipeline” projects. Meharry Medical College’s pipeline program, features comprehensive social and academic enrichment toward encouraging young minority students—particularly males where the shortage is greatest—to pursue careers in the health sciences and/or biomedical research. The program focuses on students ranging from middle school through post college, particularly those from low socioeconomic backgrounds.


These are just a few of our community educational efforts at Meharry Medical College.

A Few Statistics

According to a report from the United States Health Research and Statistics Association, the U.S. is projected to have a shortage of 20,400 primary care physicians by the year 2020.

According to the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC), African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans together make up 25 percent of the U.S. population. However, only 6 percent of practicing physicians come from these groups.

It would take nearly 20,000 additional black dentists, more than 31,000 Hispanic dentists and almost 3,000 additional American Indian and Alaska Native dentists to bring the number of minority dentists into parity with their demographic presence in the U.S. population (Association of Health Care Journalists).

Despite efforts by medical schools to increase diversity among applicants, the numbers for one demographic—black men—have remained stagnant for nearly 40 years. In 1978, 1,410 black men applied to U.S. medical schools. In 2014, that number was 1,337 (AAMC).

The MeharryNOW Day of Service

A comprehensive approach designed to stir student interest in the health and biological sciences—particularly low-income and minority children as early as middle school—to instill confidence that their curiosity and desire, coupled with their work and dedication can yield a career in science or health care. Faculty, staff and students from Meharry “take over” two middle schools in Nashville for a day of fun and educational health-science-based lessons. Students learn that science really is cool, and that they can be a part of it.

Navigating the Pre-Health Path:
An Event for Black Men Interested in the Health Professions

A gathering of high school and college-age black men and family members looking for advice and encouragement in pursuing a health care career. More than 100 attended the first summit at Meharry in Septmber 2018, coming from as far away as Memphis, Tennessee; Atlanta, Georgia and Columbia, South Carolina.

Girls Powered by S.T.E.A.M.

For one day, middle-school-aged girls are surrounded by science, technology, engineering and mathematics to kindle interest and encourage pursuit of careers in the STEM fields. Attendees learn that these careers can be fun, rewarding and challenging. In the 2019 session, attendees heard from astronaut Stephanie Wilson, the second African-American woman in space, and crew member on three shuttle missions.


This component currently matches young men of color who are Meharry dental students with boys of color from disadvantaged backgrounds—the future will include medical and Ph.D. students.


Jessica Powel
Director of Community Affairs