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A Look at the Inaugural February 2012 Tour for Diversity in Medicine 

 

(At left: Mentors for the Tour for Diversity in Medicine, a new program aimed at encouraging undergraduate college students from underrepresented minority groups to pursue medical or dental education programs.)

The Tour for Diversity in Medicine (TDM), a new minority medical education initiative, kicked off its inaugural bus tour this February 20-24. The TDM, a Hip Hop Health Inc. grassroots project, was inspired by the need for the medical professions workforce to more closely reflect the increasingly diverse population in the United States. Today, only about 6 percent of physicians and 5 percent of dentists in the United States are African American, Hispanic or Native American. The goal of TDM is to encourage undergraduate college students from these underrepresented groups to pursue medical or dental education programs by providing an expansive array of information, tools and support to help them plan for future careers in health care.

With the collaboration of Co-Directors Kameron Leigh Matthews, MD, JD, and Alden M. Landry, MD, MPH, the help and dedication of the nine TDM mentors, and a $210,000 donation from the Aetna Foundation, the TDM was able to visit five historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) across the South: Hampton University, Johnson C. Smith University, South Carolina State University, Tuskegee University, and Jackson State University. Approximately 150 students participated in the event at each school. Topics covered by TDM presenters ranged from the medical school application process, to admissions testing and choosing the right specialty, to overcoming the challenges faced by minority students working toward careers in medicine.

Tyree M.S. Winters, DO, is one of two osteopathic physicians taking part in the Tour for Diversity in Medicine as a program mentor. “Renee Volny, DO, ...and I will talk about osteopathic principles and practice and the application and interview process to get into an osteopathic medical school. We plan to share our passion for osteopathic medicine and explain that the DO difference is much more than osteopathic manipulative treatment. To me, osteopathic medicine is a whole-family approach to caring for patients,” Dr. Winters explained in a recent article by Carolyn Schierhorn, Staff Editor with The DO.

Francisco Castelan, Health Professions Adviser at Northwestern University, participated in the TDM as a mentor representing the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (NAAHP). “Participating in this tour confirmed for me that there are amazing students with incredible potential to embark on careers in the health professions, but often times it comes down to a lack of resources, support, and encouragement. This tour provided these aspiring students a chance to meet and hear testimonials of current medical students and young professionals to whom they could relate,” he said.

Two additional tours are planned: one to colleges with large Latino populations in fall 2012, and another to colleges with large Native American populations in spring 2013.

For more information on the Tour for Diversity in Medicine, visit: http://tour4diversity.org/.

Inside OME Header
March 2012
Vol. 6, No. 3