While we have frequently asked questions about finding clinical, research, and other pre-professional experiences, Native American/Indigenous students at Northwestern have questions about how their racial identities impact their striving toward futures in a health profession. What follows are some questions you might have on different points of your journey towards a career in the health professions.
How can I connect with other Native American/Indigenous pre-health undergraduates at Northwestern?
To assist your search for a RSO, we have aggregated some RSOs here. To expand your search to include a complete list of student organizations visit the Wildcat Connections page.
In addition to on-campus organizations, there are numerous professional and support organizations off-campus which welcome undergraduate students. Many of these health professions-focused organizations offer student memberships and programs, workshops, scholarships, internships, and fellowships. For more information, visit the Resources page.
How can I network with Native American/Indigenous students already studying in medical school or other health professions programs?
You can contact the medical school/health professions programs’ Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) directly to let them know that you are interested in their program and what the best way is to be connected with a Native American/Indigenous student enrolled in your program of interest. For pre-med students, the AAMC Diversity and Inclusion Information report lists all of the MD ODI offices and contacts for allopathic medical schools.
The Association of Native American/Indigenous Medical Students (ANAMS) also provides support and a resource network for all Native American/Indigenous peoples currently enrolled in health professional schools and strive to increase the number of Native American/Indigenous students in medicine. The Feinberg ANAMS chapter strongly encourages students to reach out and connect.
Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine Office of Diversity & Inclusion (ODI) website welcomes prospective Native American/Indigenous students and can share many resources.Your HPA advisor may also be able to help, as we keep in touch with alumni, many of whom have agreed to serve as a resource for undergraduates. For more information about contacting or meeting with your advisor, visit our Get Advising webpage.
How can I connect with Native American/Indigenous professionals in various health professions?
These connections can provide valuable support and guidance to student and alumni mentees as they navigate their careers, explore new career paths, or consider graduate school. For more information, visit the Northwestern Network Mentorship Program website.
The Northwestern Network also offers the Externship Program (NEXT). This is a shadowing program offering current Northwestern students the opportunity to accompany alumni on the job to learn more about a variety of professional fields. For more information, visit the NEXT Program website.
How is my Native American/Indigenous identity relevant to my application to health professions programs?
How will schools consider my identity/identities as part of my application?
Additionally, some schools will use racial identity disclosures to connect applicants with opportunities at their institution which may include the chance to meet current Native American/Indigenous students, students and faculty of color, or attend events centering the experiences of under-represented participants.
What resources are available to me as a Native American/Indigenous applicant?
- Some associations offer additional support for students of color and other minoritized applicants. For example, for pre-medical applicants to allopathic medical programs, the Medical Minority Applicant Registry (Med-MAR) enhances admission opportunities for students from groups historically underrepresented in medicine. This service shares your basic biographical information and your MCAT scores to the minority affairs and admissions offices of AAMC-member schools and to select health-related agencies whose mission is to increase opportunities for students historically underrepresented in medicine.
- Student Groups – Most health profession schools will have on-campus Native American/Indigenous student affinity groups. Reaching out to the leaders of these groups could be another way to get a similarly identified student’s perspective on the school’s culture, inclusiveness, and your fit in the program and where the school is located.
- Interview Day Hosts – For students with an interview offer, many schools provide the opportunity to connect or stay with a current student during your interview visit. When offering this opportunity, some schools will ask applicants if they would like to be hosted by a similarly identified student. If a school where you are interviewing offers the chance to connect, this could be another chance to get relevant perspective from a current student.
- Diversity & Inclusion Offices – Health profession schools increasingly have an office within them dedicated to diversity and inclusion. These offices are a good place to look for programs, initiatives, and resources aimed at supporting Native American/Indigenous students.
- Undergraduate Resources – If your undergraduate institution has an office or an individual that works with Native American/Indigenous students, they may be good additional support as you navigate the medical school or other health professions application process. Northwestern students should connect with Multicultural Student Affairs for more information.
- Previous Applicants – If you know a previous Native American/Indigenous applicant or can connect with one through friends, they could likely provide insight based on their experiences and on the school they attend. Your health professions advisor may be able to connect you with a Native American/Indigenous alumnus of your institution who is currently in a health profession program and is willing to talk to current applicants about their experiences. Tip: Consider seeking out students that share your specific identities and also students with different identities; hearing multiple different perspectives is important.
- National Organizations – Professional organizations may have resources for undergraduate students as well as students already enrolled in a health professions program. For more information, take a look at our Professional & Support Organizations page.
Are there any resources at Feinberg School of Medicine for Native American/Indigenous undergraduate students?
Our colleagues at Feinberg have shared the following resources for pre-health students who are looking to connect with health professionals (students, trainees, and faculty). For more information, visit the:
View additional FAQs about finding experiences within the health field.