Questions to Ask Others
There can be many advantages to asking current students, staff, or faculty at your intended health professions program about the experience of being Latinx at their institution. If that information is not readily available, we recommend reaching out to the program admissions office to request an opportunity to connect with a current student or faculty member who shares your identity. Here are some questions to consider:
What is it like being in this program as a student identifying as Latinx?
Seeking information from students currently enrolled in the program can be valuable. Connecting with students sharing your identity/identities may provide additional insights into the program, institution, and surrounding area. If you can get additional referrals from an enrolled student to connect with other Latinx students, building a network of differing perspectives may help deepen your insights into the academic, social, pre-professional opportunities at the institution.
What kind of support is there for students identifying as Latinx at the institution?
Making a list of any of the resources or events connected to your identity that you used or attended, respectively, during your undergraduate experience might be a valuable starting point to create a list of needs and wants. Preparing some questions to ask current students, staff, and faculty can help compare their resources with those you have used at your current/previous institution. Typically, staff and faculty connected to admissions events and enrollment processes are well informed about institutional resources. So, this ‘compare and contrast’ technique may help familiarize you with the institutional resources and culture.
To develop your list further, our Things To Look For section covers other resources to consider.
How is Latinx health incorporated into the curriculum and clinical practice opportunities?
Given racial disparities encompassing health care in the US, health profession schools have an ethical responsibility to teach structural and social causes of health disparities. How and to what extent each school has incorporated Latinx health issues and those of other minoritized groups into the curriculum will vary from program to program across the country. Programs which have integrated health issues for minoritized populations across the curriculum will explore the social determinants of health and enhance peer-to-peer learning opportunities for all students.
Is anti-racism or bias awareness training part of the required curriculum for students, faculty, and staff?
Programs promoting equity and inclusion will typically publish Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) statements. Look for information on programs, resources—including bias reporting processes and accountability measures at your chosen institution. If the information is not readily available, consider asking enrolled students and current faculty and staff how their institution is promoting anti-racism and bias awareness at their institution.
Here is an example of resources on Feinberg School of Medicine’s Diversity and Inclusion website.