During the 1960’s and 70’s, the number of minority students matriculating from inner-city high schools to colleges and universities were astonishingly low. Minorities were severely underrepresented in medical professions.
In 1970, Dr. John Davis, in a collaborative effort with the University of Southern California’s School Of Medicine, founded the Med-COR program. The goal of the program was to increase the maturation, medical interest and skill level of minority students. Through Saturday meetings at USC’s main campus, students are provided structured academic enrichment in the areas of mathematics, science and English. These students are also be prepared to enter college and compete with others in basic science courses, and subsequently successfully compete for admission into schools of health professions.
The USC Med-COR Program started out locally with four inner-city high schools: Wilson, Roosevelt, Jefferson and Washington. Each year, fifteen students in the tenth grade would be selected to participate in the program based upon a questionnaire, interview, and staff recommendation. From its modest beginnings, Med-COR grew substantially, embracing 34 high schools and 43 middle schools. Today the program is dedicated to serving 150 students at 4 local high schools.
Med-COR’s focus has not changed over the past thirty years, but additional services and programs have been integrated. The program still strives to provide academic assistance, college guidance and medical career planning, as well as fostering long-term relationships between students and staff.