- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 11, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee State University and Meharry Medical College on Tuesday announced a partnership aimed at training African American doctors and dentists who will provide essential care to underserved communities.

The accelerated program will allow selected students to spend three years in a pre-med program at TSU before going on to Meharry, earning a medical or dental degree in seven years instead of the customary eight.

The two historically Black institutions in Nashville will work together to recruit interested students and support them with mentoring, tutoring and career guidance.

The overriding goal of the program is to increase the number of African American providers who will work in minority communities that have the greatest health care needs. The Dr. Levi Watkins Jr. Institute/TSU/Meharry Accelerated Pathway Program is named after a TSU graduate who was the first surgeon to successfully implant an automatic heart defibrillator in a human patient.

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