Samuel L. Kountz Diversity Fellowship

The Kountz Fellowship is now part of SCORE!

Stanford Surgery established the Samuel L. Kountz Diversity Fellowship in 2006 to help encourage underrepresented minority student interest in an academic surgical career. We are pleased that the School of Medicine expanded upon the idea of our program and others; the Stanford Clinical Opportunity for Residency Experience (SCORE) Program now encompasses 19 Departments. As of 2022, we have integrated the Kountz Fellowship with the SCORE program.

Program Overview

Students enrolled in our sub-internships will be part of a surgical team and will be expected to function as an integral member of that team. This may include assisting in the medical management of floor patients, assisting in the operating room and attending surgical clinic. As a member of this team, students will gain important insight into the management of complex surgical and non-surgical problems.

In addition to the SCORE Program benefits, the two General Surgery Sub-Is will receive an additional stipend to offset the costs associated with participating. We also host a welcome lunch or dinner with a small group of faculty and residents and the student is assigned a faculty mentor and resident mentor. Our Associate Clerkship Director meets with all visiting sub-Is the Sunday afternoon before they start, mid-rotation for a check-in, and a final debrief.

Current and Past Recipients

My name is Malachi (Mal-uh-kai) Joiner and I'm a 4th year medical student at Dartmouth. I am from Tallahassee, Florida, and grew up wanting to be a psychologist, like my dad. During my time at Florida State University (FSU), I realized I was interested and surgery, and switched my major to pre-med.

During my time at FSU I was involved in my fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi, Special Olympics, and various other community-based volunteer programs. While applying to medical school, I worked at a physical and occupational therapy technician at an orthopedic clinic. While at Dartmouth I furthered my work in community based volunteering with programs such as project salud, which aims to bring medical care to migrant farm workers. I also became more interested in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), serving on the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) DEI since my first year of medical school. I furthered my interest in surgery and surgical research through the NIH T35 program, leading to multiple publications in surgical research. I am interested in clinical outcomes of underrepresented individuals in surgery, and was lucky enough to work with a surgeon at Stanford, Dr. Elsie Ross, on a paper focused on disparities in care in vascular surgery patients. I look forward to my time at Stanford, and hope to make the most of the wonderful opportunity I have been provided.

Samuel L. Kountz

Samuel L. Kountz, an African-American from the State of Arkansas, began his internship at Stanford in 1958. After completing his training he became a faculty member and rose to the rank of Associate Professor at Stanford. Dr Kountz is credited with being one of the team who performed the first kidney transplant on the West Coast in 1965. This was the beginning of an illustrious career in organ transplantation which included full Professorship and Directorship of the Transplant Service at UCSF and Chair of the Department of Surgery at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Amongst his many honors and awards, Dr. Kountz was elected President of the prestigious Society of University Surgeons. He was also the recipient of three separate honorary doctorate degrees.

Over and above his many accomplishments and honors, Dr. Kountz is most notably remembered for his professionalism, understanding, compassion and sensitivity towards all, placing exceptional high value on and respect for the dignity of his fellow men and women. Dr. Kountz treated everyone with the highest regard irrespective of whether the person was a patient, colleague, or other health-care worker. This was especially apparent in his genuine sensitivity to the suffering of patients with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and the socioeconomic challenges in their receiving treatment.

This compelled Dr. Kountz to action with the U.S. Congress where he passionately lobbied for the Medicare ESRD Program in order to bring equity in patient access to dialysis and transplantation, regardless of financial means or race.