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FAQ's about the AMA Doctors Back to School Program

Why is the Doctors Back to School program important?

The AMA wants children of all backgrounds to realize medicine is an option for them. We are particularly focused on black, Hispanic, and American Indian children because those minority groups are so underrepresented in medicine today.

The AMA hopes Doctors Back to School will sow the seeds of interest that will eventually grow the number of minority physicians.

African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and American Indians make up nearly a quarter of the U.S. population today and are expected to make up a third of the population within 30 years--but only seven percent of physicians and six percent of medical school faculty members are from one of these underrepresented groups.

Increasing diversity in medicine is important not simply for its own sake, but for patients’. Minority Americans continue to be in poorer health and face more difficulties in getting medical care than white Americans, and studies show that minority physicians are more likely to return to their communities and provide care for minority and underserved populations.

How much time will it take?

The time required from you would be minimal, but it could have a lasting effect on the life of a young person. All you have to do is set up and conduct a short visit to the school, church, or community organization of your choice.

Sharing the smallest aspect of your practice may be all it takes to spark the curiosity of a young mind. Simply showing students a stethoscope or x-ray films can make medicine that much more tangible and within reach. Through your involvement, Doctors Back to School can sow the seeds of interest that eventually will grow minority physician ranks.

How do I get involved?

The AMA wants your experience to be as easy and rewarding as possible: We’re providing an online action kit that includes a checklist, sample outlines for age-appropriate presentations, and stickers (available upon request) by sending an e-mail to us. For more information call the AMA office at (312) 464-5622.