December 14, 2022

This ‘No Code’ App Is Helping Black Pre-Meds Become Doctors

Dr Renée Volny Darko isn’t your typical app developer: she’s a Black OB/GYN, and she doesn’t know how to code!

However, thanks to Apps Without Code, she created MEdEq, an app which aims to help pre-meds from non-traditional backgrounds get into medical school.

The financial challenges facing Black medical students

In 2006, while studying as a medical student, Dr Renée Volny Darko was exposed to the difficulties intelligent and talented students often faced when trying to break into the medical industry. 

As someone from a non-traditional background herself, Dr Darko was very aware of the financial strain students from poorer backgrounds experienced when in medical school.  Many had often been forced to work part-time while at medical school or throughout the Christmas holidays to earn extra money.  

Those from non-traditional backgrounds were more prone to having little to no financial support, making it harder for them to survive medical school than their white peers. 

Launching an app without writing code

After working as a medical doctor for a decade, Darko founded her own pre-med advising company, Pre-med Strategies, Inc. to coach pre-medical students.

“Medical schools say they have a rough time finding qualified [underrepresented in medicine] candidates, but I encountered great students all the time,” said Dr Darko. 

“What if they were a way to bring students together with medical schools they ordinarily would not encounter online?” 

The lightbulb moment came when Dr Darko met Tara Reed, the founder of Apps Without Code.

After completing the course, Dr Darko launched her app MEdEq in 2020 without coding experience. The app’s goal was to eliminate the financial barriers pre-meds faced, and that goal has been fulfilled. 

Read: How Tara Reed Built A Million-Dollar Startup Without Code - And Is Teaching Others How To Do the Same!

“MEdEq is an opportunity for medical schools to put their budgets where their mouth is,” added Darko.

“MEdEq makes it super easy for medical schools to recruit diverse students consistently, building relationships with the applicants they are looking for, but maybe cannot get to them.” 

Medical schools can subscribe to the app, while students can download and use it free. 

Kumba Kpakima

Kumba Kpakima is a reporter at POCIT. A documentary about the knife crime epidemic in the UK got her a nomination for the UK's #30toWatch Young Journalists of the Year.