Medical School Duluth Campus Hits 'Historical Milestone' in Training Native American Physicians

This Friday, the University of Minnesota Medical School Duluth Campus will welcome it’s largest class of Native American students during its annual White Coat Ceremony.

Out of 65 incoming medical students, the class of 2023 will include 12 Native Americans. To date, 182 have graduated from the Medical School.

While the Duluth campus has a strong tradition of training Native American physicians, they still make up less than 1% of physicians nationwide, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

“There needs to be more education on the health disparities. I had to do a project in my undergrad to look into how drastic the health disparities are,” said first year medical student Brandon Butcher. “It’s actually the life expectancy for native people is five years less than other populations.”

Still, the Association of American Medical Colleges ranks the University of Minnesota Medical School second in the nation for training Native American physicians.

"The University of Minnesota Medical School has had a long commitment to addressing the shortage of American Indian and Alaska Native physicians in the United States by recruiting and supporting Native American students," said Paula Termuhlen, MD, Regional Campus Dean of the University of Minnesota Medical School Duluth Campus. "The focused mission of our Duluth Campus has made significant impact which continues today as we proudly matriculate our largest number of Native American students in our school's history and support them on their journey to becoming physicians."

The 2019 Duluth Campus White Coat Ceremony will take place on Friday, August 16 at the Marshall Performing Arts Center in Duluth Minnesota.

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