Minorities encouraged to pursue careers in medicine

Minorities encouraged to pursue careers in medicine

By Therese Michels, Editorial Writer, Marketing/Public Relations U of I College of Medicine at Rockford

With the racial diversity of physicians trailing behind the changing demographics of the U.S. population, the American Medical Association (AMA) has launched the “Doctors Back to School” program that sends minority physicians into their communities to encourage minority children to pursue careers in medicine.

Second-year medical students from the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford have also joined the cause and spoke with second grade students at Lewis Lemon Global Studies Academy March 24.

At the national level, the program was organized by the AMA’s Minority Affairs Consortium. Kevin McKinney, M.D., governing committee chairman of the MAC said, “We especially want to reach African-American, Hispanic-American and American Indian children, because these populations are so underrepresented in medicine.”

At the local level, Marilyn Griffin, second-year medical student, is a member of the MAC governing council. “The Doctors Back to School program allows us to serve as role models inspiring minority children to pursue a career in medicine,” Griffin said.

The medical students planned a fun presentation for the children. “This is a fantastic opportunity for young students to get excited about a career in medicine,” Christine Pabin, second-year medical student and AMA Rockford president said. “They get to see the tools we use outside of the sometimes scary environment of the doctor’s office.”

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