April 6, 2021

Goucher names inaugural Tisch Fellow in Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program

Drawn to the role physicians can play in addressing the impact of systemic racism on the health and well-being of communities of color, Yaphet Getachew begins at Goucher this summer.

  • Along with his supervisors at the Commonwealth Fund, Getachew, second from left, visited Cuba to study their primary health care system.

Goucher College is proud to announce that Yaphet Getachew has been named the inaugural Tisch Fellow in Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program. Getachew is a first-generation American who previously studied at Yale and whose work has focused on advancing health care equity for underserved communities. He is particularly drawn to the role physicians can play in addressing the impact of systemic racism on the health and well-being of communities of color. He will begin at Goucher in summer 2021. 

“Goucher’s long history of rigorous science education, social justice, and service to vulnerable communities is reflected in the Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program’s mission to support students, like Yaphet, who will go on to make significant contributions in reducing health care disparities and improving health equity and outcomes, particularly among marginalized populations,” says Betsy Merideth, the Goucher College Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program director. 

Through a $1 million gift to Goucher, the Andrew and Ann Tisch Foundation established a fellowship in the Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program to support Goucher’s commitment to foster a diverse and dynamic student body inclusive of underrepresented communities. The Tisch Fellow in Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program is awarded annually to an outstanding student enrolled in the Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program. 

Formalized in 1984, Goucher’s Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program is one of the most highly regarded of its kind in the nation. The college’s modern liberal arts curriculum focuses on interdisciplinary, complex problem-solving. The Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program is built upon Goucher’s rigorous undergraduate science education tradition and provides students with intensive premedical preparation. Over the past 10 years, 100% of program graduates have been accepted into top-ranked U.S. medical schools.

In applying to Goucher’s Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program, Getachew noted that “665 Black men matriculated at medical schools this year, a number virtually unchanged in 40 years. I read about the underrepresentation, and the reasons were familiar to me—stigma, bias, financial barriers, and more. ... My experiences as a minoritized person in the U.S. have motivated me to work towards becoming a physician that will prioritize and improve the health care experiences  of underserved communities.”

Getachew was raised in Minnesota, where his parents had immigrated when escaping civil conflict in Ethiopia. The family now owns and operates a small business that provides assisted living facilities for adults with disabilities, with whom Getachew has worked as a home health aide. He attended Yale, where he was admitted to the selective Global Health Scholars program and graduated with a B.A. in global affairs in 2016. For three years at Yale, he was an elected member of the Yale College Council. He spent summers interning in Ethiopia as well as working on a program in Brazil to address childhood obesity and advising the Clinton Health Access Initiative on health care programs in Liberia.

Since 2018, he has worked in health care delivery system reform and helped launch the new health equity program at the Commonwealth Fund in New York City. He has co-authored papers, including “COVID-19 More Prevalent, Deadlier in U.S. Counties with Higher Black Populations” and “Increasing Postpartum Medicaid Coverage Could Reduce Maternal Deaths and Improve Outcomes.” He is first author of the publication Beyond the Case Count: The Wide-Ranging Disparities of COVID-19 in the United States. 

“Our program was honored to receive the gift from the Andrew and Ann Tisch Foundation to support our efforts to provide opportunities for aspiring physicians from backgrounds that have traditionally been less represented in medicine,” says Merideth. 

The Andrew and Ann Tisch Foundation shares Goucher’s commitment to providing educational opportunities to underserved populations. Goucher’s efforts to provide exceptional education, paired with the emphasis on community-based learning and social justice, earned the institution the distinction as a 2020 Top Performers on Social Mobility by U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges report. Goucher is also recognized as one of the most innovative colleges in the United States.