ASU students Gina Toma, medical studies, and Julia Lorence, biomedical sciences, said the chance to attend the summit was a great opportunity to enhance their learning experience outside of ASU. As officers of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), they plan to share the resources and opportunities gathered at the conference to connect with students on campus.  

“I never knew there was a need to increase healthcare providers from underrepresented demographics," Toma said. "I come from an underrepresented population and was humbled to sit in the audience and hear about the resources available to increase diversity and encourage minority students like myself to pursue higher education.”

As an immigrant from Germany, Lorence believes that the cultural shock for refugees and others is often neglected. She reiterated that necessary cultural competency allows the university to support these students as they embark on their endeavor to become health care professionals.

“I believe that student diversity in medical education is a key factor in creating a physician workforce that meets the needs of an increasingly diverse population. From the perspective of a student leader for AMSA, it was important to understand what resources are available and how I can help bridge the gap to undergraduate students who come from a diverse population,” Lorence said.

The summit addressed the need of a changing landscape in medicine. To be the primary agents for the delivery of medical education requires change to begin at an institutional level. As one of the largest public schools in the U.S., ASU is well positioned to make a difference in improving the success of traditionally underrepresented students in medicine.

Julie Vo

Clinical Experience Placement Specialist, Office of Clinical Partnerships