Diversity in education benefits both students and patients alike.
The American Association of Medical Colleges’ (AAMC) definition of diversity is broad. They define students underrepresented in medicine as “those racial and ethnic populations that are underrepresented in the medical profession relative to their numbers in the general population."
According to information from the American Dental Association (ADA), “there is a critical need in many underserved communities where minority and disadvantaged people are not getting the care they need. Only 12 percent of students entering dental school are minorities, while minorities make up 25 percent of the general population. Recent data shows that minority dentists treat a very high number of minority patients.”
If you are from a group that is underrepresented in in the health professions or from a financially disadvantaged background, please be aware that there are opportunities that may be available to you, including:
- Summer academic programs
- Summer research programs
- Post-baccalaureate programs designed to help students prepare for the MCAT and to provide opportunities to further demonstrate ability in the sciences
These programs and resources are specifically aimed at increasing diversity among health care professionals:
- Minorities in Medicine
- An AAMC website featuring information related to medical student preparation, the medical education pipeline, and financial aid opportunities for students underrepresented in medicine.
- An AAMC initiative to increase diversity in the medical profession. Their website provides comprehensive information and advice for students from the high school level to medical school.
- The Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP)
- A free six-week summer medical and dental school preparatory program for first and second year college students. The program includes students from a wide variety of backgrounds who demonstrate a commitment to service, issues affecting underserved populations, and careers in health care.
- DiVersity Matters Initiative
- Sponsored by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges’ to foster diversity within the veterinary professions.