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Tulane Urology scholar program graduates second cohort to increase diversity

September 05, 2023 4:30 PM

This year's PIPE Scholars are Shaylyn Cothron and Soon Ja Elzey of Xavier University.


Close to 14,000 urologists are practicing in the United States, but Black and Latino physicians combined comprise just 5 to 6% of the urologic workforce. Tulane Urology aims to increase that number and launched the Purposeful Infrastructure Promoting Equality (PIPE) Scholar Program in 2022 to introduce students who are underrepresented in medicine to the field. This year’s PIPE Scholars were Shaylyn Cothron and Soon Ja Elzey from Xavier University in New Orleans.

The PIPE Scholars program is open to students who have completed two years of college and are interested in medical careers. Scholars spend their summers in the Department of Urology at Tulane, learning basic science research and shadowing urology faculty. The program also introduced the students to the MCAT preparatory course.

Raju Thomas, MD, Professor and Chair of Tulane Urology, believes the program is a vital step to increase diversity in his field.

"The opportunity to enhance the participation of underrepresented students in medicine begins with initiating a pipeline for raising interest in pursuing medicine as a career,” said Thomas. “The PIPE Program, having completed its second year, is meant to accomplish this mission."