Dr. George J. Magovern, Sr. Underrepresented Minority (URiM) Clerkship

AHN is creating a national model for the recruitment of underrepresented minority medical students to ensure the diversity of future generations of health care leaders. We pledge to meet the needs of the underserved and underrepresented ethnic communities with the strongly held belief that a diverse clinical workforce is necessary to achieve health equity.

The AHN Clerkship hosts 4 minority medical students (US citizens only) annually, offering them hands-on exposure to career opportunities in our academic medical center. As an integral part of the residency recruitment initiative, this program is focused on the inclusion of a diverse generation of future health care leaders. Clerkships are offered for a maximum of 4-weeks, available July through October only. Block times may be flexible if necessary. Allegheny is a tertiary care hospital for the Drexel University College of Medicine.

Quick guide to AHN Clerkship

About AHN and Dr. George J. Magovern

Dr. George Magovern, Sr., a world renowned pioneering heart surgeon, joined the staff of Allegheny General Hospital in 1957 to direct what was then the emerging field of cardiovascular surgery.  At the time, most of the leading surgeons and hospitals in Pittsburgh and throughout the country felt that cardiac surgery, as a surgical subspecialty, would enjoy limited success at best.  The mortality at most of the major centers throughout the country was approaching 50%.  The operations were lengthy and often associated with significant blood loss, leading to poor outcomes.  In an effort to improve the surgical outcomes of cardiac surgery procedures, Dr. Magovern developed a sutureless prosthetic valve.  The sutureless implantation method saved valuable operative time over traditional suturing.  The valve was first implanted in 1962 in a 43 year-old woman with severe aortic insufficiency due to rheumatic fever. The early results of the Magovern valve procedures were first reported in 1963 in Circulation. The surgical outcomes with the Magovern valve were exceptional and Allegheny rapidly became known as a regional center of excellence in heart surgery.  The Magovern valve was widely used throughout the United States well into the 1970s.

Because of his pioneering and innovative work in open heart procedures, Dr. Magovern was appointed Chief of Surgery at AGH in 1970.  Over the next 25 years, the program grew exponentially and at the time of his retirement, Allegheny’s open heart surgery program was the 10th largest program in the United States.

Dr. Magovern was the Program Director for the cardiothoracic surgical residency for over 25 years.  The program offered training to many under-represented minority general surgery residents training from diverse backgrounds within North America and throughout Europe, the Middle East, India and Asia.  Dr. Magovern had an infectious enthusiasm for the field of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery.  His residents were always given an intimate exposure to his hardworking, innovative and bold clinical decision-making in day-to-day patient care.  During his lifetime, Pittsburgh Magazine ranked Dr. Magovern one of the “100 Most Influential Pittsburghers of the Century” in 1999.  In 2003, Dr. Magovern received the American Heart Association “Pulse of Pittsburgh Award”.  In 2008, the Senator John Heinz History Center awarded Dr. Magovern the “Medal of Innovation Award”.

The George J. Magovern Clerkship for under-represented minority medical students will instill in these individuals professional attitudes for overcoming adversity and committing to innovative solutions in treating patients.  His life-long commitment to excellence in patient care will serve as an inspiration to the students throughout their career.  As a result, the Magovern Clerkship recipients will be challenged to practice medicine with a focus on developing a dynamic, thriving and diverse team of physicians, nurses, healthcare professionals and management staff.


Why become an AHN Clerk?

Benefits of the AHN Clerkship include:

  • The clerkship will expose minority medical students to the many career opportunities available in academic medical centers and foster an environment in which underrepresented ethnic minorities excel.
  • Clerkship acknowledges that minority physicians are underrepresented nationally, both in the practicing medical community and in the full-time academic medical community.
  • Clerkship joins the Highmark Foundation, the National Medical Fellowships Inc., the National Institutes of Health, and the Commonwealth Fund in their efforts to address this situation.
  • Academic medical centers in urban settings provide the ideal culturally and ethnically diverse environment for minority residents to receive training.
  • AHN is committed to developing a dynamic, thriving and diverse team of physicians, nurses, health care professionals and management staff that more fully represents the medical community and the population it serves.

Features of the AHN Clerkship include:

  • Each clerk will be supported with a $2,500 for living expenses.
  • Each clerk will be assigned a community, research and clinical mentor.
  • Participants will receive a tour of the local area.

Expectations for the clerkship include:

  • A presentation at Specialty Grand Rounds
  • One-to-one meeting with the AHN Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Clinical Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer



Applicants should meet the following criteria:

  1. Underrepresented minority fourth year medical students
  2. United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step one/COMLEX 1 score
  3. Core clinical clerkships completed prior to participation in the AHN Clerkship Visiting Clerkship program
  4. Current transcript
  5. In good standing at home school
  6. Home school's approval to participate in the desired elective
  7. Immunizations (required ones on VSLO) up to date, completed and documented
  8. A copy of the most recent background check from medical school
  9. Two letters of recommendation
  10. Health insurance
  11. Malpractice insurance

Immunization requirements

Visiting AHN Clerks must submit verification of completion of the following immunizations:
  • Hepatitis B: series of three doses; serology, if available.
  • Measles, mumps and rubella: Immunization or titer, in the case of measles, if the application had the disease, a doctor's signature is required to confirm office record.
  • Chicken pox (varicella): if no documented history, an antibody titer to measure immunity is strongly recommended
  • Diphtheria/tetanus: record of booster within the past 10 years
  • Polio: completed series of immunization indicating type of vaccine, as well as date of last booster
  • Tuberculosis: PPD by Mantoux method or interferon-gamma release assays (IGRAs), within the past year prior to completion of AHN Clerkship. If positive, chest x-ray results are required. Students who have received BCG vaccine must specify date and may be required to provide chest x-ray results.

Health insurance

AHN requires all visiting medical students to have valid personal health insurance, whether through their medical school or via personal coverage. AHN does not provide personal health insurance for visiting medical students.

Malpractice insurance

Malpractice and/or general liability insurance is not provided to visiting medical students. This must be provided by the student or his/her medical school. Documented proof of health insurance, malpractice coverage and a record of immunizations are part of the VSLO application. Documentation of student-purchased liability coverage must be confirmed 30 days prior to the start of the elective(s). If your school does not provide such coverage please contact our medical student office immediately.


Alternate clerkship choices

  • In the event that your primary clinical elective selection is filled, you are advised to list two alternate choices.
  • Registration in an elective will be confirmed only after the application form has been received and approved. Students will be notified by email of the results of their application.
  • There are no two-week electives for visiting students.


Application process

The Allegheny Health Network uses the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), Visiting Student Learning Opportunities (VSLO) portal for accepting and processing clerkship applications. Visit the AAMC - Visiting Student Learning Opportunities webpage for additional information on our program and to complete an application.

If you are experiencing any technical issues in completing or submitting your application, contact AAMC's VSLO support for assistance.