Rising health needs drive U's new effort to draw Native students to medical school

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

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Medical student Fred Blaisdell has a few months to go before anyone calls him doctor, but the Oneida Nation tribal member’s already learned one lesson around the importance of Native physicians serving Native patients.

During a recent psychiatry rotation at a Minneapolis clinic, he introduced himself to a patient who lit up when she heard him speak Ojibwe.

“After that, the patient really opened up and started to talk about a lot more things that she hadn't really engaged with us before,” recalled Blaisdell, 27, who’s from the Detroit area but chose the University of Minnesota’s medical school in Duluth for its national reputation training doctors from Native populations.

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