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Doctors Back to School

AMA Doctors Back to School program inspires new generation of physicians

Who inspired you to become a doctor? Very likely it was someone who personally touched your life and took the time to make a difference. Now you have the opportunity to do the same for children in your own community, through the American Medical Association (AMA) Doctors Back to School (DBTS) program.

The main goal of DBTS is to increase the number of minority physicians and ultimately work toward eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities. The program sends minority physicians and medical students into the community as a way to introduce children to professional role models. DBTS aims to show kids of all ages, especially those from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, that medicine is an attainable career option for everyone.

DBTS was originally launched in March 2002 by the Minority Affairs Section and as of 2007, the AMA is partnering with the Commission to End Healthcare Disparities to increase the number of physicians and schools taking part in the Doctors Back to School program.

What's new with DBTS?

The AMA has recently launched its new online DBTS Action kit developed for those interested in conducting a visit. The kit contains four main components: student, school, parent, and physician, with portions of the student and parent components available in Spanish.

Why is DBTS important?

Increasing diversity in medicine is important for everyone's sake. Each DBTS visit increases awareness of the need for more minority physicians, a community service in and of itself. While our country grows more diverse every day, minority Americans still lag behind white Americans on nearly every health indicator, including health care coverage, life expectancy and disease rates. You can help change that.

Who you are helping?

While minority physicians are more likely to practice in underserved areas and provide care for minority, poor, underinsured and uninsured patients, DBTS wants to inspire everyone, especially minority children, to consider the medical field as a profession.

  • African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans comprise nearly one-quarter of the U.S. population.
  • In 30 years, these groups are expected to make up one-third of the U.S. population.
  • African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Alaska Natives make up only 9 percent of the doctors in this country.
  • Your DBTS visit can help fight health care disparities.

The program continues year round

Physicians are encouraged to continue making visits to schools and other community programs whenever they can during the year.

After your visit, share your story by sending an e-mail to mas@ama-assn.org or calling (312) 464-4335.

Questions children ask
Lists questions that were asked of doctors who presented Doctors Back To School programs.

Doctors Back to School kit
Materials and ordering information for the Doctors Back to School kit.

Doctors Back to School presentation
How to conduct a DBTS visit.

Frequently asked questions about the AMA Doctors Back to School program
Answers to questions about Doctors Back to School

Financial aid

Other resource links

Careers in Medicine resource list