URMC Students Helping Disadvantaged Youth Become Doctors

"Raising the Bar" Conference on Saturday

January 28, 2014

Becoming a physician is not easy, particularly for young people who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.  With that in mind, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry (SMD) students are organizing the 5th annual pre-med conference, Raising the Bar, on Saturday, February 1.  The daylong event will help 200 area high school and college students overcome challenges and realize their dreams.

Participants will receive hands-on experience in simulated labs, interact with medical students, and take part in workshops on medical school admissions and financing.  In addition, the young people will break into small groups to eat lunch with SMD physicians.  The event’s keynote speaker is Dr. Hilda Hutcherson from Columbia University.  An accomplished physician, educator, and author, Hutcherson will share some of the insights gathered in her journey from humble roots in the deep South to national recognition as a women’s health expert.

“We want to shed light on what it takes to get into college and medical school,” says conference chair and SMD student Kristina Warner,“and, at the same time, assure participants they have what it takes to realize their dreams.”

Past participants of the conference, organized by the Rochester Chapter of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA), have gone on to medical schools and graduate programs across the nation.  Warner is hoping many of them will return, helping the region’s health care community better reflect the diversity and values of its patients.

“By inspiring physicians who are passionate about working with underserved populations, we can help meet the needs in Upstate New York,” she says.

SNMA is an organization committed to supporting current and future underrepresented minority medical students, addressing the needs of underserved communities, and increasing the number of clinically excellent, culturally competent,. and socially conscious physicians.  Minority and non-minority students interested in health careers are encouraged to attend the conference.  For more information, go to www.ursnma.org.  

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Julie Philipp
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