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Leadership Education to Advance Diversity–African, Black and Caribbean

UCI medical school faculty and students attend a Black History Month panel.Leadership Education to Advance Diversity–African, Black and Caribbean (LEAD-ABC) is a new UCI School of Medicine program aimed at producing future physicians who are committed to serving African, black and Caribbean communities in California, the United States and beyond.

LEAD-ABC, which will accept its first students in 2019, is the first medical school program of its kind in the nation to address the unique health needs of black, African and Caribbean islander communities.

This four-year physician training program offers an optional fifth year to allow the medical student to obtain a master's degree in business, public health or biomedical and translational science.

In its inaugural year, LEAD-ABC will offer two full scholarships to cover tuition and fees for the medical degree, as well as tuition and fees for a master's program at UCI.
UCI medical students in a class.

Founded by Dr. Carol Major, assistant dean for Diversity and Inclusion, and Dr. Khanh-Van Le-Bucklin, vice dean for Medical Education, this program is driven by the following:

  • Vision: LEAD-ABC will develop the next generation of physician leaders who are committed to public service, social justice and advocacy within these communities.

  • Mission: The mission of LEAD-ABC is to train and support students in medicine as they become medical professionals who will work to reduce healthcare disparities in these communities.


Program Goals and Objectives »

Young boy with Dr. Carol Major, UCI School of Medicine's assistant dean for Diversity and Inclusion and director of the LEAD-ABC program.LEAD-ABC is the nation’s first medical education program designed specifically to address the unique healthcare needs of underserved communities of black, African and Caribbean heritage.

By the end of the program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the unique health concerns affecting these populations
  • Perform a culturally competent history and physical of a patient from these communities
  • Develop a project that examines systems-based challenges and addresses the health disparities of these populations
  • View themselves as mentors and future leaders who will advance the provision of quality care to these communities
Proposed Curriculum Schedule »

Pre-matriculationUCI medical student Kelley Butler bonds with a student at a Long Beach elementary school linked with the medical school's outreach program.

LEAD-ABC students will engage in a program orientation one to two weeks before the traditional medical school curriculum. The purpose of this pre-matriculation orientation is to introduce students to health conditions in underserved black, African and Caribbean communities.

During this period, LEAD-ABC students will be made aware of the consequences surrounding lack of access to healthcare and the varying degrees of health disparity faced by this patient population. This exposure is intended to lay a foundation of understanding that will direct students on a path to becoming physician leaders and advocates for these communities.

First and second years

In the first and second years of medical school, students will enroll in the “Leadership in the Care of ABC Communities” course. This course will be designed to further expand students’ fund of knowledge and leadership skills in the care of patients of black, African and Caribbean island heritage.

The LEAD-ABC program will collaborate with the Department of African American Studies and other content experts at the university in developing the course curriculum. Representative topics include:

  • History of ABC communities
  • Cultural competency
  • Health disparities and advocacy
  • Community engagement
  • Healthcare leadership

Beginning in the second half of their first year, LEAD-ABC students will engage in a longitudinal clinical clerkship at a site that serves patients from ABC communities.

Third and fourth years

In the third year, LEAD-ABC medical student rotations will be centered at Long Beach hospitals and clinics.

In the fourth year, LEAD-ABC students will spend at least four weeks at a healthcare site that serves patients of predominantly black, African and Caribbean heritage.

Throughout their medical school education, LEAD-ABC students will be paired with appropriate mentors who have expertise caring for patients from these communities.

Faculty and Mentors »

Program Administration

Carol A. Major, MD
Program Director, LEAD-ABC
Assistant Dean, Diversity and Inclusion
Director, Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine
Clinical Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology

Khanh-Van Le-Bucklin, MD
Program Advisor, LEAD-ABC
Vice Dean, Medical Education
Clinical Professor, Pediatrics

Program Faculty

Douglas M. Haynes, PhD
Vice Provost for Academic Equity, Diversity
and Inclusion
Director, ADVANCE Program
Director, Medical Humanities Inter-School Excellence Initiative
Professor, History

Terrance R. Mayes, EdD
Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion,
Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences
Chief Diversity Officer, UCI Health

Melitza J. Cobham-Browne, MD
Division Chief, General Pediatrics
Clinical Professor, Pediatrics

Candice E. Taylor, MD, MPH
Associate Program Director, UCI-CHOC Pediatric Residency Program
Associate Clinical Professor, Pediatrics

Autumn Ivy, MD, PhD
Assistant Clinical Professor, Pediatrics
Researcher, UCI Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory

Peer Mentors

Kaosolucchi Enendu, MS2
Student Liaison

Kelly Butler, MS3
Student Liaison

For more information, please contact us at:

UCI School of Medicine
Medical Education Building
836 Health Sciences Road
Irvine, CA 92697-4089
Phone: 714-456-5967