Diversity Elective and ACHIEVE
The DEI team at the School offer both a diversity elective / clerkship and diversity seminar series known as ACHIEVE. Learn more about both below.
Diversity Elective / 4th Year Clerkship
This clinical experience will expose students to diverse populations and the unique socioeconomic and cultural factors that influence health outcomes and access to services. The University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS) takes pride in the mission to meet the individual and group needs of a diverse and pluralistic society through education, research, and service. The peoples served by and associated with the SMHS vary widely; all are valued for the richness their different cultures, heritages, perspectives, and ideas. The Diversity Elective will assist in advancing the goals of SMHS in promoting awareness of and engagement with diverse populations.
The Diversity Elective will be an 8-week clerkship that combines didactic components with clinical rotations in tribal reservation and other underserved populations.
The didactic component of the Elective will include discussions related to:
- Cultural Proficiency
- Inclusion and Equity
- Implicit Bias
- Other related topics
Students will see 3 weeks at HCMC / MSP following the 1-week didactic session in Grand Forks. During the 3 weeks in MSP, students can rotate in:
- Homeless Shelter / Social Worker
- Hennepin County Jail
- "Mother-Baby Program” with home visiting focused on family well-being
- Indian Health Board (urban American Indian clinic)—The CEO/Medical Director is also an INMED alum (Dr. Patrick Rock)
- Clinical specialty based on students’ interests
ACHIEVE Diversity Seminar Series
The Office of Student Affairs & Admissions offers a wide range of services and resources to help medical students set and reach their goals for academic and career success and personal and financial wellness. This year, ACHIEVE will implement a Diversity Seminar Series in conjunction with the Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, Dr. Don Warne.
- Session 1: Diversity & Inclusion in Medical Education presented by Dr. Warne
- Session 2: Cultural Safety & Health Impact of Discrimination and Marginalization presented by Dr. Warne
- Session 3: Cross-Cultural Communication & Historically Excluded Populations presented by Dr. Jeremy Holloway
- Session 4: Patient & Provider Panel: Culturally Responsive Care
Each session was developed in response to a survey completed by each student cohort at the initial ACHIEVE session. The diversity seminar series continues to work alongside students to ensure we provide relevant diversity, equity, and inclusion resources.
Within the session, students learn about diversity challenges at UND, diverse patient and physician experiences, and cultural considerations. The diversity seminar series is dedicated to providing students with the tools to serve all people in a culturally responsive and respectful manner. In order to accomplish this, the seminar series includes sessions on the following DEI competencies: implicit/unconscious bias, cultural humility, and health equity.
ACHIEVE Student Survey
In order to create meaningful diversity, equity, and inclusion content, a survey was conducted at each initial ACHIEVE session. After the initial session, "Diversity & Inclusion in Medical Education," students are given the opportunity to provide feedback and express which topics they are interested in learning more about. The survey consists of seven questions; Q1 and Q3 are the exact questions from the AAMC Medical School Graduation Questionnaire. Typically, UND scores are lower for Q3, which specifically discuss the ability to work with diverse populations. Therefore, by initiating this survey to students in their first year, we can ensure we are meeting this goal throughout their educational experience at UND SMHS.
The class of 2024 survey consists of data from 47 student respondents, the survey was conducted after the introductory Diversity Seminar session on April 20, 2021. The class of 2025 survey consists of data from 58 student respondents, the survey was conducted after the introductory Diversity Seminar series on August 24, 2021.
Q1 - Indicate whether you agree or disagree with the following statements about your
preparedness for beginning a residency program: I believe I am adequately prepared
to care for patients from different backgrounds.
Class of 2024
Class of 2025
Q2 - Based on your answer to Question 1, what, if anything, contributed to your ability to work with diverse populations?
Class of 2024: In response to Q2, students stated that their ability to work with diverse populations was credited to either their own cultural background or undergraduate experiences. Within this question both classes expressed the need for more SIM experiences with a translator.
Class of 2025: In response to Q2, students within the class of 2025 expressed very similar experiences
to that of the class of 2024. All students who "agreed" credited their own background
and experiences. Those who did not cite their own personal experience shared that
they would like to expand their experience in working with diverse populations.
Q3 - Based on your experiences, indicate whether you agree or disagree with the following statement: The diversity within my medical school class enhanced my training and skills to work with individuals from different backgrounds.
Class of 2024
Class of 2025
Q4 - What can we do to improve diverse experiences at UND?
Class of 2024: In response to Q4 students expressed the need for further integration of diversity into PCL experiences. Students expressed that they wanted to learn from others' personal experiences versus just having someone reiterate the content from a PowerPoint presentation. Students also stated that they would enjoy the opportunity to experience rotations within a more diverse healthcare setting. Students noted that the lack of diversity within their own student class and the faculty at SMHS limits their ability to experience diverse perspectives. Students appreciated being able to learn about AI/AN populations but would like to learn about other races, ethnicities, cultures, and religions.
Class of 2025: In response to Q4, again students present very similar concerns as the previous class. Students want diverse clinical rotation experiences, the ability to learn about other cultures, and discussion panels. Students also cited that although they appreciate learning about AI/AN populations, they expressed a need expand to other races, religions, and ethnicities. Students also expressed that the lack of diversity within their own class has not enabled them to expand their worldview.
Q5 - Please indicate which Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion topics you are interested in:
Class of 2024
Class of 2025
Q6 - Are there any Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion topics you are interested in that are not listed?
Class of 2024: In response to Q6, students provided several suggestions for topic areas that we had not initially listed. A majority of students expressed that they wanted to learn more about cultural/religious backgrounds and how to communicate in a respectful and effective manner. Students also expressed interest in learning more about first-generation Americans, micro-aggressions, rural populations, and LQBTQ+ individuals. Additionally, students enjoyed previous panel discussions and would like them utilized more in the DEI space.
Class of 2025: In response to Q6, students provided several suggestions for topic areas that they are interested in. Responses included all of the above topic areas mentioned by the class of 2024, with a few distinctions. Students thought it was also important that we update language that we use within the curriculum to ensure it is inclusive and accurate. For example, one student mentioned using the prhase "pregnancy loss" instead of "fetal demise." Students from both classes experienced that they would be very interested in learning about effective cross-cultural communication.
Q7 - What additional feedback do you have on how the UND SMHS can promote diversity and inclusion?
Class of 2024: In response to Q7, students provided ideas on how UND can promote DEI within the Medical curriculum. Similar to above questions, students want the ability to complete rotations in facilities that serve diverse patient populations. Several students expressed that most of the content is taught from a “white perspective.” For example, when studying cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia, there was no contrast on how this impacts patients of other races or ethnicities. Students are adamant about learning from others, specifically from their own cultural perspective. Students mentioned the Global Friends Coalition to better understand immigrant populations. Students are interested in more panel discussions for DEI.
Class of 2025: In response to Q7, students also shared similar concerns in this area. Students mentioned proper communication skills across cultures and the importance of understanding proper terminology. Another student mentioned that most of the curriculum doesn’t show how disease impacts different races. One student specifically mentioned how skin diseases are not presented on different skin colors; they have only seen how diseases present of white skin. Most students from each class, continually expressed a need for opportunities to learn from other populations directly (migrant, LGBTQ+, other cultures, religions, races, and ethnicities). One student provided the idea of a “Diversity Day” where students and presenters (members from diverse populations) can learn and interact with one another.
Ultimately, students have expressed the need for our DEI scope to broaden. We need to recruit a more diverse student population as well as more diverse faculty. We can improve diverse experiences at UND by providing students the opportunity to work within facilities that serve minority populations. Furthermore, we must continue to cultivate opportunities for students to engage and discuss DEI topics in an interactive manner. These learning opportunities need to be taught by members of the minority population, not someone reiterating a PowerPoint presentation.