“The gift that keeps on giving”

Stanford REACH-HBMC mentors & mentees reflect on shared summer of learning

April 1, 2024

Launched in 2017, the Stanford REACH-HBMC Summer Research Program offers an 8-week, on-campus research program for rising second-year medical students from from all four of our nation's Historically Black Medical Colleges (HBMCs). Majesty Greer, a medical student from Howard University, was among 57 mentees in the 2022 program cohort. “I not only got the chance to experience Stanford and do research there, but I met so many people that are so happy to help me reach my professional and personal goals,” Majesty says, describing the program “as the gift that just keeps on giving”.

The quickly growing program matches mentees with Stanford Medicine faculty mentors and labs for a bi-directional research experience. While the first year (2017) saw just two mentees, both from Meharry Medical College, the program is now a part of Stanford Medicine’s Racial Equity to Advance a Community of Health (REACH) Initiative, and partners with all four HBMCs, namely Howard University's College of Medicine, Meharry Medical College, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Charles R. Drew University of Medicine.

We asked mentor/mentee pairs from the Summer 2022 and Summer 2023 REACH-HBMC cohorts to share their thoughts and impressions. Here is what they had to say. 

Josiah Thule, Glenn Chertow, & Maria Montez-Rath

Summer 2023 Mentor/Mentee Pairing

Josiah Thule, Morehouse Mentee

“The Stanford REACH program provided me with the opportunity to experience a taste of academic medicine. Being able to focus solely on research in the gap between academic semesters, surrounded by the strong culture of teamwork and innovation, I was able to learn even more than I had hoped would be possible.“

Glenn Chertow, MD, MPH, Stanford REACH-HBMC Mentor

"With the tremendous help of Xue (Snow) Yu and Maria Montez-Rath, biostatisticians with whom we work closely, Josiah was able to complete his analytic plan, review results, and draft a manuscript, which should be ready to submit before the end of the summer."

Maria Montez-Rath, PhD, Stanford REACH-HBMC Mentor

"Josiah is an absolutely wonderful student, very bright and dedicated. Even though he came without much research experience, he dived into the topic he selected with Dr Chertow and learned not only about the clinical subject but also about the data and the statistical methods."

Majesty Greer, Elijah McMillan, Creed Stary

Summer 2022 & 2023 Mentor/Mentee Pairings

Majesty Greer, Howard Mentee

“I always describe the REACH-HBMC program as the gift that just keeps on giving. I not only got the chance to experience Stanford and do research there, but I met so many people that are so happy to help me reach my professional and personal goals.”

Elijah McMillan, Howard Mentee

“From the first day in the program, I felt extremely comfortable and truly felt accepted into the Stanford family. This is an amazing program with tremendous people running it and I am eager to see how it will transform other medical students' lives in the future like it did mine!”

Creed Stary, MD, Stanford REACH-HBMC Mentor

"The immersive program allowed Majesty and Elijah to start by first acquiring basic laboratory skills and then progressing to learning more advanced scientific techniques. As their mentor, their engagement and enthusiasm in the program was wholly rewarding."

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