The Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program (AMFDP) opened its doors in 1983 to its first cohort of eight physicians, beginning a three-decade and ongoing commitment to mentoring individuals from historically disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds to become leaders in the field of academic medicine and science. Thirty-three years and 280 alumni later, program graduates are full professors, chairs of departments, leaders of Institutes within the National Institutes of Health, and individuals nationally and internationally known for their valuable contributions to biomedical research, health services research, and clinical investigation.
At its 2013 annual meeting and reunion, AMFDP celebrated its 30th anniversary. Current scholars and alumni gathered in Atlanta for research presentations, panel discussions, networking and a speed-mentoring event for pre-health and health-profession students. They also honored James R. Gavin III, MD, PHD, who stepped down as national program director after serving in that role for 20 years. Dr. Gavin is succeeded by David S. Wilkes, MD, a Harold Amos program alumnus (’91) who serves as the dean and the James Carroll Flippin Professor of Medical Science at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Dr. Wilkes is the third director in the program’s history.
Reflections on the Harold Amos Program
RWJF President and CEO
“[The scholars’ dedication to their work] is inspiring ‐ not only to me and to everyone at the Foundation, but also to the succeeding classes of physicians and dentists [they are] mentoring. Their unflagging commitment to fostering the development of young medical and dental students keeps this program strong. It creates a next generation of outstanding young physicians and dentists with the skills, the confidence, and the sense of mission to excel and to inspire others in turn.”
James R. Gavin
Former National Program Office Director
“We envisioned this program to have the ability to fulfill a very lofty ambition: to change the face of American medicine. We’ve succeeded beyond what I expected because of what our scholars have done… the impact and the influence that they’ve had. But that has inspired me to dream even bigger. I think we’re ready to move to the next level.”
Vanessa Grubbs, MD, MPH
“The Harold Amos Program has allowed me to launch my research program, and exposes me to a wide network of academic leaders and mentors.”
Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, MD
“As a member of the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with many brilliant minds. The program’s support of my research at the Brain Tumor Stem Cell Research Laboratory has been invaluable, and has helped us on our quest to find the end for brain cancer. It has been a true honor and privilege to be part of such a wonderful program.”
Kristen Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD
“What an amazing gift, to be included in such a wonderfully talented group of junior faculty from across the country, engaged in the same career path! The peer mentorship and support is an invaluable aspect of this program, as is the access to the extraordinary depth of knowledge, commitment, and support from the very wise members of the program’s national advisory committee.”