Minority and Underrepresented Scholarship Programs

Resident and fellow diversity photo

Health Equity and Leadership Scholars Program

Health Equity and Leadership Scholars Program (HEAL) is a new initiative designed to encourage diversity in the physician workforce in Grand Rapids, Michigan by providing scholarships for resident physicians from under-represented minority backgrounds.

HEAL seeks to diversify the resident physician workforce by recruiting the most qualified students from under-represented groups. HEAL scholars will pursue a health equity project involving leadership, advocacy, scholarship, or community engagement. They will be paired with a faculty mentor and serve as mentors for a medical student from an underrepresented minority background. Resident physicians who are accepted into this program will receive a yearly, renewable scholarship with an additional award if they choose to stay in the Grand Rapids area upon residency graduation.

A minimum of two scholars will be accepted each year. Scholars must be starting in one of the 3-year primary care programs (Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Family Medicine). Each scholar will receive $10,000 for their first year. Each year after, they receive a $5,000 stipend. If the resident chooses to stay in the Grand Rapids community after residency graduation, they receive another $5,000 stipend.

How to Apply Thank you for your interest in the Health Equity and Leadership Scholars Program. Applications will be accepted and reviewed each year, after residents have matched with Spectrum Health. Applications are due May 1 for the upcoming year (starting in July). To apply, complete the application form and email to residentdiversity@spectrumhealth.org.

Congratulations to the 2021 Health Equity and Leadership Scholars!

2021 HEAL Scholars

Antonio Lopez, MD, internal medicine resident, is from Detroit, MI and attended medical school at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. He chose to do his residency at Spectrum Health because of his excitement to explore Grand Rapids and West Michigan. Antonio’s clinical interest is internal medicine and in his free time he enjoys learning how to cook and try new vegan recipes. 

 Jason Wanamaker, MD, emergency medicine resident, is from Toledo, OH and he attended medical school at The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences. Jason chose Spectrum Health for his residency because of the people he met here and because Grand Rapids seemed like the perfect place to start the next phase of life. Jason’s clinical interests include analyzing and improving socioeconomic disparities within health care and in his free time he plays basketball, watches Marvel movies and listens to audiobooks.

Minority Visiting Scholars Program

The Minority Visiting Scholars Program (MVSP) is sponsored by the Spectrum Health Office of Research and Education as a supplement to our visiting learner program for medical students. The program provides mentoring and networking for fourth year and qualified third year medical students underrepresented in medicine, such as racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQI-identified or gender nonconforming individuals, individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds and those with special needs.
The mission of the MVSP is to enrich medical education, advance research and strengthen our clinical practices by fostering a culture of inclusion. It is because of our commitment to improve the health of the communities we serve that we are committed to recruiting a diverse class of residents. We believe our community of diverse patients warrants diversity in our physicians.


Applicants must be full-time, fourth year medical students underrepresented in medicine, in good standing at a LCME-accredited U.S. medical school. Third year students who have completed their core clerkships in medicine, surgery, pediatrics and obstetrics are also eligible to apply.

  • Up to $1,500 scholarship awarded to MVSP scholars, including reimbursement for housing, travel and expenses associated with participating in the learning program. MVSP scholars who complete their rotation will be reimbursed at the end of the rotation. Incurred expenses for travel and other associated expense receipts and MVSP program evaluation must be submitted to residentdiversity@spectrumhealth.org within 30 days of rotation completion.
  • Includes a four-week rotation on clinical shifts, didactics and simulation with attending physicians and resident physicians.
  • MVSP scholars will have the opportunity to attend all residency educational activities.
  • Mentoring opportunities from faculty member in specialty of interest.
Selected scholars may elect to secure housing through our partnership with Grand Valley State University. Housing is based on availability and will be deducted from the scholarship. If no availability, selected scholars will be responsible for securing housing. Contact residentdiversity@spectrumhealth.org if you would like to seek housing through our partnership.
The following amenities are included:
  • Fully furnished apartments with kitchenette and wireless internet connection
  • Free parking in adjacent parking lot
  • On-site laundry, exercise center and 24-hour public safety and on call emergency
  • Located on The Rapid bus line and walking distance to restaurants, museums, etc
MVSP scholars are assigned a faculty advisor and offered opportunities to network with other Spectrum Health faculty, attending physicians, residents, fellows and staff. Mentoring and networking is designed to:
  • Increase awareness of opportunities in academic medicine
  • Provide underrepresented medical students access to a diverse Spectrum Health workforce and career guidance
  • Educate on opportunities in academic training programs for residency and fellowship at Spectrum Health
Applications for the Minority Visiting Scholars Program can be submitted starting April 1 for the next academic year starting in July. MVSP applications will be accepted for three months. Notification of student's application status will be provided via email within three weeks of receiving the application.

The application timeline mirrors the timing for the Visiting Student Learning Opportunities program (VSLO). VSLO applications are accepted for approximately one year, depending on availability, and will close completely when the next VSLO application cycle opens. VSLO is always available to view electives beginning March 1 of each year.

All visiting medical student applications must be submitted through the Visiting Student Learning Opportunities program. Applications should be submitted at least three months (90 days) prior to the student’s requested rotation.

The application process requires two separate applications, the Visiting Student Learning Opportunities application, which allows students to register for an elective at Spectrum Health, and the MVSP application which awards the financial support.
  1. Complete the VSLO application and upload all required documents
  2. Complete the Spectrum Health MVSP application and email completed application and CV to residentdiversity@spectrumhealth.org