Network for Advancing Black Medical Learners

Supporting and Advancing Black medical students

The Network for the Advancement of Black Learners (N-ABL) is working to ensure medical students are better supported to make  it through the process of becoming the physicians our communities need. 

Medical school is a challenging process, let alone with the intersecting challenges impacting Black learners. 

Under the following pillars, BPAO members and allies are creating ways to ensure greater success for Black medical students:

  1. Curriculum

  2. Mentorship 

  3. Pathways for reporting incidents of racism and mistreatment

  4. Wellness

  5. Data collection, monitoring and evaluation 

  6. Transition from learner to physician 

In 2023 we established four working groups to present recommendations and strategies to improve medical student experiences and retention. 

You can learn more here in the progress update presentation from our 14th Annual Symposium. 

In 2020, the Black Physicians’ Association of Ontario (BPAO), in partnership with Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) leaders from all six medical schools in Ontario, agreed in principle to establish the Network for the Advancement of Black medical Learners in Ontario.

In this context, Black medical learners encompass medical students, residents, and junior faculty. This Network will form a basis for knowledge exchange and the establishment of best practices to support Black medical learners; however, responsibilities for setting academic standards, ensuring accountability, and monitoring compliance would reside within each medical school.

The framework outlines a six-pillar framework to guide the Network’s endeavor to support Black medical learners matriculating through medical schools and training programs. This will not include the admissions process into the medical school itself, as this has been addressed through previous BPAO initiatives; however, there would be attention to admissions into residency programs and faculty representation.

We envision this Network as a partnership that can only be successfully implemented via intentional, cross-institutional collaboration. We are grateful to the Council of Ontario Faculties of Medicine (COFM) for their financial support.

More N-ABL Resources

If you would like to learn more about the N-ABL Project, please connect with us via the contact form below.

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