The information below provides students with resources to explore opportunities to build connections with others sharing the same or similar racial/ethnic identities. These connections can help develop students’ pre-professional journey with different groups of peers and professionals.
The HPA team recognizes that Native American/Indigenous students have been historically underrepresented at Northwestern and throughout the health professions. The following information is intended to provide additional sources of support for students identifying as Native American/Indigenous who are pursuing careers in the health professions.
- Professional & Support Organizations - Many health profession, professional organizations welcome undergraduate student members. Often, the professional membership fees are reduced for students—some may even be waived in certain circumstances. Joining such an organization will typically expose students to current issues, presentation/research opportunities, emerging trends in the health profession field. Membership can also present valuable opportunities to network with peers and professionals.
- Registered Student Organizations (RSO) - Joining a Registered Student Organization or RSO is a wonderful way to meet like-minded individuals, make friends and build a pre-professional network. Membership in these organizations can also present opportunities to further develop your leadership and organizational skills, often supporting communities in and around Evanston and Chicago.
- Alumni Resources - Health Professions Advising offers services to Northwestern undergraduate alumni. HPA advisors are here as a resource for you during your gap/bridge year planning, or career transition planning into a health profession. Services include pre-health advising, application advice, support with your personal statement and mock interview practice.
- Native American/Indigenous representation in medicine crucial to combating public health disparities, report suggests (Devore, 2019) - This UW-Madison student newspaper article explores underrepresentation in the health professions drawing on a key report about Native American/Indigenous underrepresentation in medicine: Reshaping the Journey, American Indians and Alaska Natives in Medicine
- We Are Healers - This web site aims to inspire American Indian Youth to see themselves as future health workers and healers. The site also highlights the striking health disparities that exist in native communities sharing stories that draw attention to the reality native health providers are underrepresented.
- Community Health Representative (CHR) Program - The CHR is an initiative within the Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives. The health promotion and disease prevention efforts that CHRs provide have helped people from the community improve and maintain their health. By providing health education and reducing hospital readmissions, CHRs have contributed to lowering mortality rates. You can stay informed about their initiatives by joining the CHR list serve.
- Rezzies in medicine: The new adventures of Native physicians (Bennett-Begaye, 2019) - This article provides information and insights into the challenges and opportunities faced by Native American/Indigenous peoples and Indigenous students preparing for a career in medicine. Data included shows the number of “American Indian or Alaska Native (alone) applicants, matriculants, and graduates of U.S. MD-granting institutions from 1973-74 through 2001-02 providing evidence of underrepresentation in the health professions.
- Tribal College, Journal of American Indian Higher Education - This site is a great source for news, current affairs, and insights into tribal college educational initiatives and opportunities. It includes student stories and a resource guide with articles ranging from food sovereignty to Native spirituality, as well as recent print publications.
Programs & Opportunities
- Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) - SHPEP is a free summer enrichment program focused on improving access to information and resources for college students interested in the health professions. SHPEP’s goal is to strengthen the academic proficiency and career development of students underrepresented in the health professions and prepare them for a successful application and matriculation to health professions schools.
- The Center for Native American/Indigenous and Indigenous Research (CNAIR) invites Northwestern undergraduate students to join a community of scholars dedicated to research by and for Indigenous people. CNAIR also has undergraduate fellowships available.
- The Indian Health Service provides financial and experiential opportunities to make a career in dental health care a reality. Students and health profession graduates can benefit from loan repayment programs and the IHS Scholarship Program to alleviate the financial burden of pursuing their training. Current dental school students can also take advantage of the IHS Dental Externship Program to gain hands-on training and be mentored by experienced professionals. For more information visit the IHS Opportunities for Students page.
- Native American Graduate Fellowship Program - The NAGF recognizes outstanding Native American and Alaska Native graduate students who are currently pursuing advanced degrees in health care fields (e.g. M.S., Ph.D., M.D.)—including, but not limited to, health administration, health education, public health, medical practice, policy, research, or related-degrees—and who have demonstrated a commitment to Native health care. For more information, contact the Udall Foundation's new Native American Graduate Fellowship Program (NAGF).
- Native American/Indigenous Into Medicine (NAM) and Great Lakes Native American/Indigenous Applicant Workshop programs at the University of Minnesota - NAM is a six-week summer enrichment program for college sophomores and juniors interested in pursuing health careers. Program instructors include a broad range of Native American/Indigenous faculty, health professionals, traditional elders, and medical students. Accepted NAM students earn a stipend for living expenses. Campus housing is also available for those traveling from outside the Duluth region, Minnesota.
- Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP) Pre-Admission Workshop - The Pre-Admission Workshop (PAW) is an event held to bring together AAIP member physicians, AI/AN college students, public health professionals, university admissions professionals and other interested individuals with the goal of providing students with the information and skills necessary to succeed in the medical and health-profession school admission process.
- Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP) Scholarships database - Online scholarship and resource guide for Native American/Indigenous and Alaska Native Students that showcases 20 scholarship opportunities including many in the healthcare field that can make all the difference in affording college.
- Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP) Internships and Fellowships database - A list of 75+ internship and fellowship opportunities aimed at supporting Native American/Indigenous and Alaska Native students including many public health and pre-health opportunities.
- Public Policy and International Affairs Program (PPIA) - College juniors interested in public policy, including public health policy, should consider the PPIA Fellowship Program. The PPIA aims to help students prepare to pursue Masters' or joint degree, typically in public policy, public administration, international affairs, or a related field. The PPIA Junior Summer Institute Application is due around mid-November each year. For more information, NU students should contact Amy Kehoe, Associate Director for Global Education at the Office of Fellowships at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Office of Fellowships - There are varied resources available to students via the Office of Fellowships. For example, the Fellowship Finder is a searchable database containing information on undergraduate tuition support, research funding, internships and summer opportunities. Note, when using the Fellowship Finder use the search filter "Underrepresented Minority" (URM). URM is used to define BIPOC underrepresentation according to federal standards and includes such identities as Black, Latinx, Native American, and Southeast Asian. Additional drop-downs allow you to select other underrepresented identities, including LGBT and FGLI.