The RIDR Program: Providing Early Career Opportunities for Historically Underrepresented Student Groups

Screenshot of a virtual presentation of UCSF RIDR students and their mentors

“It is critical that we bring people with diverse perspectives and backgrounds into medicine. Our medical teams must reflect the diversity of our communities in order for patients to have the best possible outcomes,” says Matthew Bucknor, MD, associate chair for wellbeing and professional climate and director of the Research Initiative to promote Diversity in Radiology (RIDR Program) at UCSF Radiology. “A goal of the program is to bridge the gaps in representation in radiology as contrasted with other medical specialties, for example, with regard to the numbers of women and historically underrepresented minorities in the field.”

Now in its 5th year, the RIDR program provides an opportunity for high school, college, and medical students, from groups that are historically underrepresented in Radiology or disadvantaged, to participate in basic science, translational, or clinical radiology research projects for eight weeks during their summer break. Accepted students are matched with a faculty mentor and project of interest and spend the summer participating in research in their chosen area. “Through RIDR we are providing an early opportunity and pipeline into radiology for high school, college and medical school students wishing to explore radiology as a career choice and support the next wave of innovation in our field,” explains Dr. Bucknor. “We want to create the change that we want to see in healthcare.”

The 2021 RIDR cohort of 14 students had an in-depth research experience this summer, culminating in a presentation of their work during an annual summer student research symposium. Their projects covered the full spectrum of imaging research, including studies focused on cancer, abdominal imaging, musculoskeletal imaging, neurodegenerative disease, and health care disparities.

The department is seeking crowdfunding to support the 2022 class of RIDR students. Accepted students will come from all over the U.S. to participate in the RIDR program, and we aim to continue to grow and enrich the program each year. Each student receives a stipend to help support their travel and living expenses while attending the program in San Francisco. All donated funds will go directly to support student stipends. These collective gifts – large and small – make a real difference in the lives of these remarkable students who participate from across the country.

Visit the crowdfunding site to make a donation here.

Visit the program’s page to learn more and hear from UCSF RIDR program alumni.

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