The Indians into Medicine (INMED) Program at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) recently wrapped up its annual INMED Summer Institute. The six-week institute offers summer academic enrichment sessions for dozens of American Indian students at the junior high, high school, and medical preparatory levels. This year’s program hosted 42 students representing 14 tribes from eight different states.
The summer program is designed to bolster participants’ math and science skills, introduce health career requirements, and help develop potential for success in health science careers. In addition, the program introduces students to life on a college campus. Students are housed in UND residence halls, eat in UND dining centers, and attend courses held in University classrooms.
Activities this year included a visit to the Indian Health Service clinic in Belcourt, N.D., stops at various UND departments, as well as the SMHS Simulation Center, and a trip to Sully’s Hill State Park near Devils Lake, N.D.
“For me personally, the Summer Institute was very inspiring. These young people take six weeks out of their summer vacations to spend time with us and to build their skillsets in the sciences in an effort to succeed better in higher education,” noted INMED Program Director Donald Warne, MD, MPH. “I feel a strong sense of responsibility to those who have entrusted us to provide a positive experience for these students. And, I feel hopeful for the future in knowing that these young, intelligent Native people are pursuing careers in the health professions.”
The institute culminated with a banquet on July 19, at which awards were given, including the “most improved” and overall outstanding student awards. Dr. Warne spoke about the role that INMED plays in educating American Indian students.