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Upstate to host special pre-admissions workshop for Native students

Twenty-seven Native students from across the country will gather at Upstate Medical University Oct. 6 through 8 to take part in a workshop aimed at preparing individuals to pursue health professional, nursing and medical-related programs at higher education institutions.

The Pre-Admission Workshop is designed to increase the number of Native students pursing education for careers in health care.

Native American students are historically greatly underrepresented in medical schools across the country. Of 19,553 medical school graduates in 2019 only 21 identified as Native American, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. That number is especially low considering the need for Native students with medical training to return to their communities, which suffer from high rates of chronic disease and poor access to healthcare.

“This workshop is an effort to introduce and prepare students for an educational path that can provide them with health career opportunities, so that we have more Native individuals in our health care professions,” said Krystal Ripa, PhD, Upstate’s director of special admissions programs.

Students will hear from a variety of Upstate departments including admissions and financial aid officers and from a panel of Upstate clinicians. The participants will also tour campus, participate in a mini-college fair and attend a traditional dinner and dance at the Onondaga Reservation

The workshop is co-sponsored by the Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP). The University of Albany, University at Buffalo, the University of Rochester are also participating partners. Upstate is working to establish a local chapter of The Association of Native American Medical Students (ANAMS), which is a student organization representing Native American graduate health professions students through the United States and Canada.

There is no cost for students to attend the workshop as expenses are covered by Upstate.

The year’s workshop is the fifth held by Upstate. More than 100 students have participated to date.

Caption: Traditional Native American dance performances are among the activities planned during the event.