One America Community Efforts
Little Bar

Program: Indians Into Medicine, Grand Forks, ND
Contact(s): Eugene Delorme, Executive Director: (701)777-3037
Purpose: To train American Indian students for careers in medicine and other health care professions in American Indian communities

Background Program Operations Outcomes


Indians Into Medicine (INMED) was established in 1973 at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine at Grand Forks with a grant from the Indian Health Service. Its beginnings coincided with the termination of the "federal doctor draft," which supplied physicians to American Indian health facilities. Only 75 American Indian medical doctors were identified in the United States at that time. INMED's activities correct the problem of too few health professionals in American Indian communities, especially American Indian health professionals, and the problem of substandard levels of health and health care in American Indian communities.

Program Operations

The program promotes interest, enrichment, and exposure to careers in medicine. Each summer, over 100 students at the junior high, high school and medical preparatory levels attend classes in the sciences at the University of North Dakota and interact with students, mentors, and American Indian health professionals. The summer programs bolster participants' math and science abilities, introduce them to health care careers and provide the medical school with a larger pool of applicants. During the academic school year, the INMED medical school program prepares 120 students for graduation from health science degree programs, residency programs, and placement as medical professionals. Moreover, by helping these young people to recognize their potential, develop their interests, and increase their self-esteem, INMED helps participants to become powerful, caring and humane leaders in their own communities.

Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments

The program has graduated 110 medical doctors, or about 20 percent of the country's American Indian physicians; additionally, 90 program participants have graduated from clinical psychology, nursing and other specialty programs. A tribal board, representing 24 tribes, ensures INMED's responsiveness to American Indian communities and helps the program to promote healthy lifestyles on Northern Plains reservations. INMED has received continuous support from tribal governments, tribal schools, tribal colleges and medical facilities.

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