Date of Award
DenYelle Kenyon, PhD
Damon Leader Charge
Meghann Jarchow, PhD
Service-learning, Cultural Immersion, Native Health Disparities, Rural Physician Retention
Medical Education | Medicine and Health Sciences | Public Health
Rural health disparities are an ongoing issue in the state of South Dakota (SD), specifically within rural and Native American communities. An explicit goal of the Sanford School of Medicine (SSOM) is to improve health care for the citizens of the state with an emphasis on rural and Native communities. Many initiatives have been undertaken by SSOM to address these disparities; however, few opportunities exist for undergraduate premedical students to contribute. A well-designed cultural immersion program has the potential to influence the career paths of pre-professional students. The ultimate goal of the program is to facilitate relationship-building between medical pre-professionals and their potential patient populations to influence future generations of SD medical professionals to address rural health disparities. Specific goals for individual program participants include engaging in critical self-reflection, learning Native history, and developing cultural humility. The program goals are to be accomplished through a variety of theoretical frameworks and best practices established through a comprehensive literature review. Discussion includes relevant theories, methods, logistical considerations, evaluation tools, practical applications, and other considerations for accomplishing the previously stated goals of an undergraduate cultural immersion program.
Nerland, Andrew J., "Developing Program Infrastructure for Relationship-Building Between Native Communities and Premedical Students in South Dakota" (2021). Honors Thesis. 160.