UND’s Indians Into Medicine Program Launches $1 Million Campaign for Indigenous Medical Education – Grand Forks Herald

GRAND FORKS – The Indians Into Medicine (INMED) program at the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences is kicking off a $1 million comprehensive campaign, the largest of its kind for Indigenous medical education.

“For nearly 50 years, this program has led the nation in educating indigenous doctors,” said INMED Director Dr. Don Warne in a press release. “Unless our students are offered one of a limited number of scholarships, most of which only go so far, they pay full tuition like everyone else. So we are always looking for ways to work more efficiently and expand our support base. This campaign will help us do both.”

The expanded campaign, which coincides with the program’s 50th anniversary in 2022-23, hopes to generate funds that will directly support many of INMED’s diverse programs.

Founded in 1973, the UND Indians Into Medicine program was one of the first university programs in the nation dedicated to cultivating and producing indigenous physicians and other health care providers. In 50 years, the program has graduated nearly 300 American Indian/Alaska Native physicians and countless other health care providers: physical and occupational therapists, medical laboratory scientists, physician assistants, and public health professionals.

“Our goal is to put INMED in the best position to help our students with all their needs during their academic career at UND,” said Dr. Daniel Henry, co-director of INMED. “We help our students with technology needs, test preparation, skill building, textbooks, mentorship, shadowing, research opportunities and much more. And all that is getting more and more expensive.”

The campaign will run until April 20, 2023, after which the campaign will end with a celebration at the Time Out Wacipi powwow event in 2023 on the UND campus, according to the press release.

The INMED program provides direct support not only to Indigenous MD and other health professions students at UND, but also to pre-university students and instructors through programs such as:

  • Summer Institute (SI), a program in which students in grades 7-12 live together on the UND campus while learning about science and healthcare.
  • Med Prep, a summer program for college graduates and American Indian University graduates preparing to take or retake the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) and enroll in medical school.
  • Career and Life Instruction for Matriculation Building, a summer program for incoming INMED medical students designed to help new medical students acclimate to the rigors and culture of medical school and develop a sense of community before classes begin.
  • Native Educator University Research Opportunity in Neuroscience (NEURO), a high school professional development program that places educators in a research lab of the UND Department of Biomedical Sciences at the School of Medicine & Health Sciences.

Alexandria McLearen is one of those future physicians who have benefited from INMED’s many programs even before embarking on an MD program, the release said.
“It was during the MCAT preparatory program that I first really felt like I could imagine myself as a medical student, having met Native medical students and doctors for the first time in my life,” McLearen said. “Until then, I walked down the path without any guidance or support, not expecting to actually pass an MD program. INMED has been key to my success before I even applied to medical school.”

Anyone interested in contributing to the campaign can contact Jeff Dodson, the AAF director of development at the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences, at [email protected] or 701-777-5512.

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