Giving Students a Vision of Healthcare Careers
Research has shown that many students are unaware of healthcare careers other than those of nurse and doctor, and of the need to increase the diversity of students pursuing those careers.
To help remedy that, a New York-based healthcare careers education program for underrepresented minority students recently expanded its pilot program efforts to urban Washington, D.C., and rural Hardin, Montana. Mentoring in Medicine (MIM), Inc. is a nonprofit organization that works with students in disadvantaged areas from 3rd grade through health professional schools. MIM is sponsored by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the Friends of the National Library of Medicine (FNLM).
More than 400 students—many of them American Indians—came to Hardin High School in mid-May for a three-day Healthy Living Week series of exhibits, hands-on demonstrations, and lectures about healthcare topics and career opportunities. At the same time, more than 500 students—many of them African American or Hispanic—from a number of D.C.-area schools attended a similar series of presentations at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, according to MIM president Lynne Holden, MD.
"Mentoring in Medicine is a unique educational program that helps interest underrepresented students in healthcare careers," says Donald A.B. Lindberg, MD, NLM director. "We are delighted to help promote this pioneering effort to bring more diversity into the healthcare professions."
Among the presentations at Hardin High School was an iPad version of "Native Voices: Native Peoples Concepts of Health and Illness," an interactive exhibit from the National Library of Medicine. Students at the NIH visited the actual exhibit in the National Library of Medicine display area.
Mentoring in Medicine plans to continue its efforts in other venues in the future. For more information, visit medicalmentor.org.
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