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Kyla Cox
Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

Last modified: Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Health Professions and Prelaw Center to host Tour for Diversity in Medicine student conference

Sept. 25, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Health Professions and Prelaw Center and the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at Indiana University Bloomington will host the Tour for Diversity in Medicine on Thursday, Sept. 27.

The Tour for Diversity in Medicine is an initiative of Hip Hop Health Inc., in conjunction with the Aetna Foundation and the U.S. Army, to promote careers in health professions to underrepresented minorities. The program will provide a wide range of information and advice to plan for careers in medicine and dentistry.

IU Bloomington is one of six campuses in the Midwest to host the tour this fall. The Health Professions and Prelaw Center will collaborate with the Hudson and Holland Scholars Program, the Groups Program and the Minority Association of Premedical Students to offer the opportunity to students.

"The tour was started by two doctors who wanted to inspire underrepresented minority students pursuing medical careers," said Rachel Tolen, assistant director and premedical advisor with the IU center. "Our office wanted to support the work they are doing because we think it is important for the individual students on our campus and for the future of medicine."

doctor administers chemotherapy

Rhoda Baer, National Cancer Institute

Print-Quality Photo

Student members of the Minority Association of Premedical Students will work as volunteers at the conference, helping to deliver this program to other students on campus.

"IU Bloomington Minority Association of Premedical Students is excited about the opportunity to have Tour for Diversity stop at the Indiana University Bloomington campus," said Mychael T. Spencer, president of the association. "We know that our members as well as the other pre-health students will benefit from this program, and we are looking forward to seeing this event become a success."

Session topics include the application process and admissions tests, choosing the right specialty and an overview of health disparities. Students will have the opportunity to interact with physicians, dentists and medical students and hear their stories about how they overcame obstacles to pursue a career as a health care professional. The program will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Indiana Memorial Union on the IU Bloomington campus.

"Our curriculum emphasizes the importance of early exposure, advising and mentorship," said Dr. Kameron Matthews, co-director of the Tour for Diversity in Medicine and a family physician in Chicago. "As current professionals, we acknowledge how these factors were important in our own career development, and so therefore, we hope to give back to current students. We want to connect students with physicians and dentists who are dedicated to their growth and their future."

The Health Professions and Prelaw Center, a program of the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, provides advising and other services for students who want to pursue careers in law, medicine and other health professions. Students considering careers in these professions must excel academically and plan carefully. HPPLC works closely with IU students throughout their undergraduate years, and with IU alumni, to help them become thoughtful, well-prepared, competitive applicants to professional programs. For more information, call 812-855-1873.

About the Tour for Diversity in Medicine

The Tour for Diversity in Medicine seeks to educate, inspire and cultivate future physicians and dentists of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds by forming local connections in order to fulfill a national need. Conceived by former medical student leaders, it will bring premedical enrichment activities to underrepresented minority undergraduate students in order to assist with the diversification of the health professions workforce. It is a grassroots effort, with its inaugural Tour in February 2012 across five Southern states.

About the Aetna Foundation

The Aetna Foundation is the independent charitable and philanthropic arm of Aetna Inc. As a national health foundation, it promotes wellness, health and access to high-quality health care. Its current giving is focused on addressing the rising rate of adult and childhood obesity in the U.S.; promoting racial and ethnic equity in health and health care; and advancing integrated health care.