From the Dean: Happy Birthday INMED!
As I mentioned last week, all week long we’ve been celebrating the 50th anniversary of our renowned Indians Into Medicine (INMED) program – despite the snow! Since 1973, this first-of-its-kind program has helped produce more than 270 Indigenous physicians who otherwise might not have become doctors. That’s hundreds of physicians, and other health providers, who typically end up back in their often underserved rural communities to provide care to patients of all backgrounds, but especially Indigenous patients. Given the continuing disparities in access and outcomes between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, we can’t produce such providers soon enough. As a result of INMED’s heroic efforts and our School’s focus on Indigenous programs broadly – including the second annual Indigenous Trauma and Resilience Research Center symposium happening in our building right now – the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences ranks #1 compared with the 154 medical schools in the country for the percentage of our graduating medical school class who identify as American Indian/Alaska Native. That’s an amazing accomplishment, and thanks are in order to the faculty and staff – and especially students! – who are involved in this historic enterprise.
If you didn’t yet have a chance to celebrate with us, you can still say hello this week to our graduating INMED students and others at the Wacipi Powwow at the Hyslop Sports Center gymnasium tonight starting at 7 p.m. or tomorrow (April 22) afternoon starting at 1 p.m.
Preparations continue in high gear for a variety of graduation-related events and UND Commencement itself over the next three weeks. The School actually is involved in three separate graduation commencement ceremonies – one for our medical doctor graduates on Saturday, May 6, and one each for our undergraduate and graduate students who are crossing the finish line on Saturday, May 13 (graduate degrees will be awarded during the morning commencement ceremony and undergraduate degrees during the afternoon event). Regardless of degree or ceremony, it is an exciting and fulfilling time for all our graduates. I look forward to participating in all the commencement ceremonies and as many of the related events as I can.
And no sooner do we graduate our seniors than the new classes of students arrive, the first consisting of the new first-year members of the M.D. Class of 2027, who begin their studies on Monday, July 3, 2023. In addition to students, we will be welcoming new residents and fellows (post-M.D. graduates) into a variety of clinical training programs across the state. In fact, fifteen members of the soon-to-graduating M.D. Class of 2023 will start their graduate medical education training in North Dakota soon after they graduate. Exciting times for sure!
Joshua Wynne, MD, MBA, MPH
Vice President for Health Affairs, UND
Dean, UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences