Intermountain Health and Black Physicians of Utah recently collaborated for the second consecutive year for Medicine Immersion Day, a community event to benefit and provide resources to Black, an underrepresented minority, Utah high school students and undergraduates from communities across the state to get them excited and interested in careers in healthcare.
The 2nd annual Medicine Immersion Day was hosted at Intermountain Alta View Hospital in Sandy on Saturday, September 16, and provided the opportunity for high school juniors, seniors and college students pursuing careers in medicine to gain insight into various medical specialties from local physicians.
“Alta View Hospital is proud to partner with Black Physicians of Utah. Our hope is that immersive Medicine Day would inspire young black students to consider careers in medicine,” said Scott Roberson, administrator of Intermountain Alta View Hospital.
“Since education and vocation are such important social determinants of health, inspiring youth in all of our communities to consider a career in medicine goes a long way toward fulfilling our mission of helping people live the healthiest lives possible,” Roberson added.
A recent report, In the Nation's Compelling Interest: Ensuring Diversity in the Health-Care Workforce, found that increasing ethnic and racial diversity among health professionals is vital because evidence indicates that diversity is associated with improved access to care for racial and ethnic minority patients, greater patient choice and satisfaction, and better educational experiences for health professions-based students, among other benefits.
The full-day event at Intermountain Alta View Hospital encompassed various workshops, panels, and more, to fully immerse students into a day in the life of a physician.
Students had opportunities to participate in breakout groups where they were able to experience specialties, such as labor and delivery, scrub in and visit an operating room, where they learned about its procedures and anesthesia, as well as a hands-on simulation where they will learn to perform sutures.
These opportunities allow students to better understand the experiences of physicians of color who found their paths into medicine, ask questions, and receive mentorship and advice.
“I strongly believe in the saying, ‘If you can see it, you can be it’,” said Richard Ferguson, MD, president and founder of Black Physicians of Utah. “Mentorship by Black physicians and other providers of color gives guidance and opportunities to marginalized groups, like African Americans in Utah, who are often overlooked or dismissed. I would not be where I am today if it were not for the mentors who fostered my interests in science and medicine at an early age.”
Medicine Immersion Day will continue to evolve as an annual event and be a resource to students of color throughout the community in Utah.