NMF was founded in 1946, in Chicago, by Franklin McLean, MD, PhD, an eminent physician who saw, well before others, that the lack of opportunities for African-American physicians was a problem for our nation; that we needed more minority physicians to achieve basic equality of opportunity, and to ensure access to quality healthcare for millions of poor and minority Americans. This was true in 1946, and it is true today.
Long before “diversity” was a national value, NMF began giving scholarships to African American physicians and medical students who otherwise could not have afforded a medical education. As broad social changes swept America, NMF expanded its commitment, giving grants on a national basis to other groups underrepresented in medicine.
Through its scholarship programs, NMF has been instrumental in increasing the number of underrepresented minority physicians and researchers in the US. In recent years, NMF has expanded its efforts, with fellowship programs that help medical students address health disparities in underserved communities, in the US and globally.