Dr. Allison Kelliher, faculty advisor
I am honored to serve our students as the faculty advisor for the Association of Native American Medical Students (ANAMS). ANAMS is supported, in part, through a collaboration with the Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP) whose mission is “to pursue excellence in Native American health care by promoting education in the medical disciplines, honoring traditional healing principles and restoring the balance of mind, body, and spirit”. As a board member for AAIP, I am proud that our ANAMS chapter was started by students in 2019 in order to support and represent American Indian and Alaska Natives in health professions at UND. The president of ANAMS, Alexandria McLearen, is also Alaska Native like me. She recently facilitated a booth at the UND Time Out Wacipi Powwow, allowing for student involvement in community and culture. It was wonderful to see students and come back together again for this colorful event.
I have also been working closely with ANAMS students locally and nationally to address concerns. Of particular interest to students are workshops where they can learn about microaggressions and how to manage and cope with challenges during interviews and issues related to racism. At this year’s 28th annual AAIP Cross Cultural Medicine Workshop, we will feature an interactive panel discussion and didactic about racism in medicine that features national leaders Lukejohn Day MD, Felisha Rohan Minjares MD, Shaquita Bell MD, and Augustine Chavez MD, as well as the perspectives of two ANAMS members Brianna Baldwin and Meagan Chriswell.
The AAIP is also facilitating a mentorship opportunity at this year’s workshop to match students with a mentor and facilitate further dialogue and support for students throughout their career. Although the Cross Cultural Medicine Workshop is held annually in conjunction with the Gathering of Nations Powwow in April, we are also planning our 50th Annual AAIP Conference July 28-31 in Washington DC. We will be meeting with the AAMC and other stakeholders regarding consensus statements around inclusivity of American Indian and Alaska Native perspectives in medical training and working toward creating a national network of clinical sites for medical students to train and rotate with other Indigenous providers. I look forward to seeing the future accomplishments of our students as we work toward inclusivity together.