Skip to main content

Children's Mercy Underrepresented in Medicine Elective

Mercy + ME provides financial and mentoring opportunities to students who are underrepresented in medicine

The Children’s Mercy Underrepresented in Medicine Elective program (Mercy + ME) provides qualified fourth-year medical students who have historically been underrepresented in medicine (UIM) an opportunity to experience the outstanding Pediatric training that Children’s Mercy provides. This unique program was designed by the Children’s Mercy Faculty and Trainee Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee with the overarching goal of increasing exposure of UIM medical students to clinical and research opportunities in academic medicine in addition to encouraging students from diverse backgrounds to apply to the Children’s Mercy Pediatric Residency Program. Funding is provided through grant support from the Black Community Fund (BCF), an affiliate of the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, whose mission is to provide support and leadership to enhance socio-economic aspects of the African-American community in the Greater Kansas City area.

Program description

Selected applicants will spend four weeks rotating on with Pediatric subspecialty services based on availability.

Recommended electives include:

  • Allergy/Immunology
  • Child Abuse Pediatrics
  • Child Neurology
  • Developmental and Behavioral Medicine
  • Pediatric Gastroenterology
  • Pediatric Nephrology
  • Pediatric Rheumatology
  • Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
  • Pediatric Infectious Diseases
  • Pediatric Pulmonology
  • Pediatric Rehabilitation

Rotations will also include one ½ day per week dedicated to unique clinical and research experiences with current Children’s Mercy faculty. Applicants will have the opportunity to provide care to a racially and ethnically diverse patient population with exposure to with a wide spectrum of pediatric diagnoses while working closely with trainees and faculty. Participants will be expected to attend all scheduled educational conferences including (but not limited to) morning report, noon conferences, grand rounds and teaching sessions.

Mentoring and networking

Participants will meet with UIM faculty at Children’s Mercy throughout the rotation as well as current UIM pediatric residents and members of the University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC) Student National Medical Association (SNMA). Tyler Smith, MD, MPH (Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the division of General Academic Pediatrics) will serve as the physician contact for applicants throughout the rotation. Students will also have the opportunity to meet with the Residency Program Director.

Financial assistance

Scholarships will be awarded to each selected participant for reimbursement of travel, lodging, and meals.


Current full-time fourth-year medical students identified as UIM, who are in good standing at accredited U.S. medical schools are eligible to apply. For the purposes of this elective, the following racial and ethnic groups are identified as UIM:

  • American Indian/native Alaskan

  • Black or African American

  • Hispanic/Latino

  • Native Hawaiian/Pacific islander

  • UIM Asian Populations (e.g. Vietnamese, Cambodian, Indonesian)

    *Some Asian populations ((Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, Thai, Asian Indian) are NOT considered UIM



Applications for the Mercy + ME rotations must be received no later than 5 p.m. CST on May 28, 2021 for the following academic year.

Applications will be reviewed by members of the GME Subcommittee on Residency Diversity and selected applicants will be notified by June 18, 2021.

All applicants must complete an application form through American Association of Medical Colleges’ Visiting Student Application Service (VSAS) for their pediatric elective of interest (excluding acting internships).

In addition, the following required documents must be emailed to

  • Personal statement describing the applicant’s interest in Pediatrics and how the Mercy + ME elective will help advance or support the applicant’s career goals

  • Letter of recommendation, preferably from a Pediatric attending 

  • Curriculum vitae 

Applicants will receive a confirmation email once all materials have been received and VSAS application is complete. 

Applications will be reviewed by members of the GME Subcommittee on Residency Diversity and selected applicants will be notified by June 18 of the application cycle.  

Those applicants not selected for the funded rotation are strongly encouraged to apply for unfunded acting internships and electives at Children’s Mercy.