The Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) chapter at the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (CCOM) at Midwestern University recently held their first National Outreach for Diversity (NOD) in Medicine event at the 21st Century Charter School in Gary, Indiana. Osteopathic medical students spent the day hosting radiology labs for one hundred and twenty 7th and 8th grade students at the school. Students participated in individual study and exercises to learn about x-rays, how they work, and why a physician would order one for a patient as well as interactive group sessions involving reading and describing actual x-rays, handling real bones on loan from the anatomy department at the medical school, and working as a team through several real medical cases.
In addition the class material, students were encouraged to ask questions about careers in medicine. The medical students leading the sessions opened themselves up to any questions the students have about the various professions in healthcare and explained to the students that a career in medicine is an opportunity that is open to them. This encouragement and mentorship was the goal of the session as SOMA, along with its partner organizations the American Medical Student Associaition, the Latino Medical Student Association, the Association of Native American Medical Students, and the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association, kick of their National Outreach for Diversity in Medicine initiative this month.
The National Outreach for Diversity (NOD) in Medicine is a first of its kind national coalition of medical student organizations whose mission is to inspire, recruit, and retain Underrepresented in Medicine (UIM) youth to medicine. This coalition was formed in response to the research that demonstrates not only an underrepresentation in medicine of people of color, but that improving this lack of diversity in medicine has direct positive impacts on patient care and the health of our nation. SOMA is proud to be one of the founding partners in this effort and we look forward to continuing to do our part through events like the one in Gary.