Make room for underrepresented students in population health

Over the summer, a dozen budding population health researchers – university students from across the country underrepresented in the field – worked with mentor professors from Stanford Medicine to design and deliver focused research projects. on topics such as ovarian cancer outcomes in blacks. women.

Together, they formed the first cohort of students to participate in the Advancing Health Equity and Diversity program.

David Rehkopf, associate professor of medicine and epidemiology and population health who helps lead the program, said it was designed to help address the lack of diversity in population health sciences – and to generate enthusiasm for the field.

“We wanted to show students what it is, on a daily basis, to do population health research and why we have a passion for it so that they can see if it is a path they want to take” said Rehkopf, mentor of two fellows of the program. “We don’t want lack of knowledge, exposure or access to be a barrier to becoming an academic researcher.”

Students took courses in population and public health, research study design, statistics, statistical programming, and community engagement, and initiated research projects that explored issues such as impact of COVID-19 on cancer care for the Latin American community. At the end of the eight-week program, they presented their findings at conferences – held virtually, like the rest of the program, due to the pandemic.

Charles Yellow Horse, an Air Force veteran who grew up on a Navajo reservation, said the program helped him better understand the search process and improve his search skills, and strengthened his decision to continue. graduate studies in public health.

“It also helped me feel more confident that my voice counts and that I’m in the health sciences,” said Yellow Horse, senior at Arizona State University.

He was one of four academics who spoke about their experiences with the new program in a recent article published in Stanford Report.

Photo from rawpixel.com


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