Tour for Diversity in Medicine: Year in Review

 In Uncategorized, Voices of Diversity

As 2012 comes to an end, the Tour for Diversity in Medicine would like to reflect on the year we have had and look forward to 2013.

In December 2011, we were still unsure if we would be able to have our inaugural T4D. We were hoping to get final approval for funding, working to identify volunteers willing to sacrifice their time and energy to ride on a bus and hoping to find five schools willing to allow us access to their campus and their students.

2012 was a good year for T4D. We were able to partner with the Aetna Foundation who generously sponsored not just one but multiple T4D tours. Our partnership with the Aetna Foundation is more than just financial. Dr Gillian Barclay and Melenie Magnotta have been extremely supportive of our efforts, helping us to identify additional points of contacts, partnered us with a public relations firm and helped us video archive the inaugural tour. Without their support, the T4D would still be an idea and not a movement.

The T4D only works because the mentors are willing to share their time, energy, experience and stories.  We would like to thank the mentors who have come on the T4D. 21 physicians, dentists, medical students and pre-health advisors were willing to give up a week of vacation to go to work for the T4D, spending long days giving presentations, talking with students, sleeping in hotels nightly and spending long hours on the bus, to mentor students and motivate the next generation of physicians. We also appreciate that you are willing to continue to work with the tour, either by getting on the bus again, blogging in the Voices of Diversity blog or supporting the tour in your other efforts.

In February 2012, 5 institutions of higher learning opened their doors to us to come on their campus and speak to their students. We would like to thank the pre-health advisors who we worked closely with to have a successful event. We are thankful that you trusted us despite our relative inexperience to come to your school and speak to your students. That same trust and belief in the T4D was present in the 6 sites that served as host institutions for the Fall 2012 tour.

We would like to thank our other colleagues and sponsors for the T4D. A special thanks goes out to the US Army Medical Recruiting Brigade and Cpt Whitney Dulla who has worked with us from the beginning, as well as the Association of American Medical Colleges and Dr Norma Poll-Hunter. We would also like to thank the medical and dental schools, local volunteers and others who helped support the tour, financially or otherwise.

Lastly but most importantly, we would like to thank all the students who participated in the our T4D events, have followed us on Twitter and liked us on Facebook. We thank you for trusting us to give you the advice you need to help you achieve your goals. We thank you for coming to our stops, asking the tough questions and seeking out resources to improve yourselves as applicants to professional school. We look forward to teaching you in medical or dental school, be it in the classroom or in the clinic, and we are excited about the prospects of you being our colleagues in medicine and dentistry. We know that as we expand the cadre of health professionals we will have a better chance of eliminating the health disparities that plague our country and affect so many of our friends and loved ones.

Indeed, 2012 was a good year for the T4D but it was a better year for everyone involved. We are excited about the prospects of 2013 and know that as we continue to grow the Tour for Diversity in Medicine brand, we can have a larger impact on the health of our society.

See you in Texas in February!

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