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Registration for Pre-Admission Workshop open for Native Americans

Registration is now open for Upstate Medical University’s Pre-Admission Workshop (PAW) for Native Americans interested in pursuing health professional, nursing, and medicine-related programs.

For the first time since 2019, the program will take place in person, at Upstate’s Syracuse campus, with expenses for qualified students being covered by Upstate.

Registration is available at: www.upstate.edu/prospective/paw.php

“This is an opportunity for Native American students to learn how they can best present themselves to be accepted into a competitive medical college or other healthcare program,” said obstetrician Brian Thompson, MD, a founder of the PAW program and assistant professor of Public Health and Preventative Medicine at Upstate.

Students will attend a conference with like-minded Native Americans Oct. 6 to 8, meeting one-on-one with admissions counselors and others who can help them assess their strengths, practice interview skills and gain insights into how to get succeeded on the chosen path.

“Native Americans and Alaska natives are underrepresented among healthcare workers,” said Trina Northardt, Upstate’s director of Quality and Patient Safety Department of Emergency Medicine and a member of the PAW team. “PAW is an effort to help change that, so that more Native American patients can be cared for by Native American doctors and nurses.”

This year’s program has been expanded to include virtual coaching months before the conference, to ensure students have time to best prepare themselves, said Krystal Ripa, PhD, Upstate’s director of special programs. “Students may find it helpful to take exams, such as the MCAT for medical school acceptance, one more time. A small improvement in score can make a difference. Registering early means students can learn where they stand sooner and take action to improve their opportunities to get accepted,” she said.

The PAW program is co-sponsored by the Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP) and is focused on helping Native American and Alaska Natives achieve their healthcare education goals. AAIP seeks to accomplish its mission of improving the health of American Indian and Alaska Natives by offering educational programs, services and activities that motivate American Indian and Alaska Native students to remain in the academic pipeline and to pursue a career in the health professions and/or biomedical research.

Caption: More than 20 Native American students attend the workshop in 2019, the last year it was held in person, prior to pandemic that cause such programs to be offered virtually.