Dr. David M. Carlisle, CDU’s President & CEO. (299414)
Dr. David M. Carlisle, CDU’s President & CEO. Credit: Charles Drew University.

Officials at the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) recently welcomed a $50 million state grant for their new four-year medical degree program, which they said would increase the diversity of California’s medical community.

“We are deeply appreciative of this support from Governor Newsom and the state Legislature. With this funding, CDU aims to increase the number of Black medical graduates practicing in the state of California by almost 30 percent and the number of Latinx graduates by nearly 20 percent,” CDU President and CEO Dr. David Carlisle said.

“This will not only enhance our attractiveness and reputation as a health professions university, but it will also help us address our mission in a very direct way by providing us the additional resources and infrastructure necessary to train the health professionals who will address the medical needs of the communities where they live and work,” Carlisle added.

The funding was first approved by the state Legislature in early June.

CDU shares a longstanding relationship with the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA via the Charles R. Drew/UCLA Medical Education Program, which has trained 28 medical students per year since 1979. The upcoming independent four-year medical education program at CDU is an addition to that partnership and will begin training 60 students annually starting in fall 2023.

L.A. Care Health Plan recently announced a $5 million grant for the new medical degree program.

Construction is set to begin in spring or summer 2022 on a new building that will house the program, featuring classrooms, virtual and standard anatomy laboratories, staff and faculty offices, and common spaces to support all students in the university’s three schools and colleges.

CDU is a private, non-profit, minority-serving medical and health sciences university committed to cultivating diversity among health professionals and health equity for underserved populations. It is located at 1731 E. 120th St., in the Watts-Willowbrook area of South Los Angeles.