Greensboro AHEC Scholar Tracks Health Career Pathway to Cone Health Residency
Dr. Prosper Amponsah values the opportunity to improve workforce diversity and community trust in healthcare.
Dr. Prosper Amponsah, a graduate of the Greensboro AHEC Scholars Program, begins his Internal Medicine Residency with Cone Health on July 1.
“There are not many black men in medicine, so I wanted to make it so I can be a mentor to those who hope to join this profession.”
Connecting the Health Career Pathway: Above, Dr. Amponsah attends the annual White Coat Ceremony in June with fellow incoming Cone Health Internal Medicine Residency interns. Below, Dr. Amponsah is pictured with his fellow Greensboro AHEC Scholars in Cohort 2.
GREENSBORO — As a boy in Ghana, Prosper Amponsah, MD, MPH, already knew that he wanted to be a doctor — even before his family immigrated to Greensboro.
“Seeing my parents work hard or make sacrifices motivated me to stay on the course,” says Dr. Amponsah, who had no healthcare role models growing up, but was driven by a hope to one day serve the needs he saw in his communities. He attributes the availability of health education pathway programs like Greensboro AHEC Scholars to helping him achieve his goals.
“I also had to rely on my internal drive to continue this long journey,” he says in 2021, transitioning as a graduate of the UNC School of Medicine to an internship at Cone Health’s Internal Medicine Residency Program.
“We are excited to both welcome Dr. Amponsah to our residency program at Cone Health and to watch his autonomy grow in this clinically challenging yet supportive environment,” says Emily Mullen, MD, Program Director for the residency program. “His contributions as a resident and as a future internist will be invaluable to the communities that we serve.”
“I hope to come out of residency with the skills and knowledge needed to work as either a hospitalist or an outpatient provider,” says Dr. Amponsah, whose interest in residency at Cone Health stemmed from his undergraduate medical education experience within the system.
“Cone has a very family-oriented program that is committed to serving the people of Greensboro and surrounding communities,” he says. “I benefited from being the first to see interesting pathologies, easy accessibility to faculty, and their focus on resident wellness.”
AHEC Scholars Enriched Dr. Amponsah’s Pathway
Vital to Dr. Amponsah’s journey has been the AHEC Scholars program, which he completed this year as a member of Greensboro AHEC’s Cohort 2. He considers such health career pathway programs to be a key element of promoting workforce diversification, an issue close to his heart.
“There are not many black men in medicine, so I wanted to make it so I can be a mentor to those who hope to join this profession,” he says. “Greensboro is home to a significant number of refugees and immigrants, so I hope to serve as both their doctor and their advocate. I am interested in addressing the multiple barriers to care many patients with low socioeconomic status encounter, including lack of transportation, language barriers, health literacy or lack of trust in the health system. I also hope to focus on community engagement as a practicing doctor and help patients become more engaged in their medical care.”
“As a Scholar, Dr. Amponsah was able to apply real-world solutions to current and emerging challenges in healthcare, and his expertise added value to our program,” says Patricia Parrish, MS, CHC, CDP, Greensboro AHEC Director for Health Careers, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
As the keynote speaker for the Greensboro AHEC Scholars graduation in April, Dr. Amponsah reminded his fellow graduates of their impact: “The world needs you, the U.S. needs you, North Carolina needs you, Greensboro needs you, and the community needs you.”
Dr. Amponsah says his advice to any high school or college student who is interested in pursuing a health career is to be persistent, work hard and remember your “why.”
“The journey is not easy,” he says, “but hard work and persistence in the face of adversity will get you there. Always think about why you want to pursue a health career. If it’s for all the right reasons, it will serve as a constant motivation throughout the pathway to your chosen health career.”
For more information about Greensboro AHEC Graduate Medical Education Support, please contact Terry Lynn at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Greensboro AHEC Scholars Program, contact Patricia Parrish at email@example.com.
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