Name: Courtney Cotsonas
Graduating Class: Class of 2024, Duluth Campus Medical School
Undergraduate school attended and major: Purdue University; BS in Psychological Sciences
Languages spoken: Proficient understanding of Spanish, limited speaking ability
Favorite activities to do in Duluth or the Twin Cities? I enjoy exploring the beautiful North Shore and all the hiking trails Duluth has to offer.
Why did you choose the University of Minnesota Medical School and what do you like about it? I chose the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth Campus because of the mission to train family physicians with an emphasis on rural medicine and Native American Health. One enticing piece of UMD’s curriculum was the early clinical exposure with courses such as the Rural Medical Scholars Program (RMSP), the Summer Internship in Medicine (SIM), and our Family Medicine Preceptorship (FMP); and as it turns out, my time in the clinic during this past year were some of the most rewarding weeks of my first year of medical school.
What would you change (areas of development) about the University of Minnesota Medical School? Some areas of opportunity that I see include more collaboration and cohesion between Duluth and Twin Cities campuses and the recruitment and retention of BIPOC faculty and students to help create a more inclusive community and to provide meaningful support for BIPOC students.
What is the relationship between the students and the surrounding community? We do have opportunities for students to collaborate with the local Duluth community via the American Indian Community Housing Organization, the Steve O'Neil Apartments, the CHUM Center, and the Damiano Center, and we are always looking for additional ways to engage with the community.
Have you participated in any student organizations? If so, why did you select those organizations and what has been your experience? Yes, I participate in a variety of student organizations; I am the Lead Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer for our Medical School Student Council, I am the President of our Association of Native American Medical Students Chapter, I am a founding member of the DEI Student Ambassador Program, in which I serve as one of the Student Chairs, I am on the HOPE Clinic Executive Board as the Community Liaison. I am also involved in a couple of projects related to addressing DEI work and community collaboration; some of these projects include the Black & Blue Curriculum Development project, I work with faculty via the MedEd Student Reform Coalition on the Admissions, Community, and Curriculum subcommittees, and I am part of the BIPOC Health Professionals Student Collective (HPSC). I chose these extracurriculars because they align with my passions to interact with the local community while also addressing areas of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Healthcare. My other interest groups include the Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG), Medical Students for Change, Women in Medicine, Radiology Interest Group, and the Medical Spanish Interest Group.