Message from the Interim Director
Welcome to the Center of American Indian and Minority Health (CAIMH)!
In the early years of the Duluth School of Medicine, the faculty understood the importance of reaching out to tribal communities in their efforts to increase the number of American Indian students in medical school and allied health care positions. These efforts resulted in a number of programs directed toward American Indian students ranging from the high school to the post graduate levels. The overall goals of these programs were to stimulate the interest of students in health care careers and facilitate their pathway to such ends. These programs resulted in a concept called the Indian Health Pathway. This is an individualized, competency-based, student-centered program with tribal and community connections. The program features a five pronged approach to student and professional development, as follows:
- Service/ Leadership
- Community and Cultural Integration
The Center interacts with students as early as grade school to foster their interest in science, math and health fields. In addition, the Center has two high school programs (High School SuperStars and Stepping Stones to Health Careers) and a college program (Native Americans into Medicine) which are designed to stimulate student’s interest in science, math and health sciences.
The Center maintains an active recruitment effort aimed at increasing the number of Native Americans applying to and gaining admission to medical school. In collaboration with the Association of American Indian Physicians, we conduct a Pre-Admission workshop to assist in this goal. Once in medical school, the Center supports the Native American students as they face the rigors of medical school.
In the upcoming years the Center of American Indian and Minority Health will continue to address its missions of education, research and service. The goal of this effort is to increase the number of health care professionals working in rural and underserved regions. We are pleased the University of Minnesota Medical School is second in the nation in graduation Native American students. Moreover, graduates are able to retain their cultural beliefs while participating in their education, due to the efforts of the Center.
If you are interested in a more complete documentation of the Center’s inception and growth please visit the About CAIMH section of this site.
Lorentz E. Wittmers Jr., MD-PhD