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Event aims to entice Black students to seek health care careers

By Jamie Lampros - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Sep 15, 2023

Charles Rex Arbogast, Associated Press

Dr. Brittani James, left, and her twin sister Dr. Brandi Jackson stand for a portrait in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago, Sunday, May 2, 2021. The identical twin doctors have taken on the medical establishment in pioneering work to eliminate racism in medicine.

Intermountain Health and Black Physicians of Utah are hosting the second annual Medicine Immersion Day on Saturday in an effort to encourage Black students to pursue careers in health care.

The event will be held at Intermountain Alta View Hospital, 9660 S. 1300 East in Sandy, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The goal is to provide resources to Black and underrepresented minorities, Utah high school students and undergraduates from communities across the state.

“Since education and vocation are such important social determinants of health, inspiring youth in all our communities to consider a career in medicine goes a long way toward fulfilling our mission in helping people live the healthiest lives possible,” said Scott Robertson, administrator of Intermountain Alta View Hospital. “Alta View Hospital is proud to partner with Black Physicians of Utah. Our hope is that this immersive Medicine Day will inspire young Black students to consider careers in medicine.”

Students will have the opportunity to gain insight in different areas of health care from local physicians through various workshops and panels. They will also get to scrub in and visit an operating room, learn about anesthesia and other surgical procedures, and experience a hands-on simulation learning to perform sutures.

“I strongly believe in the saying, ‘If you can see it, you can be it,'” said Dr. Richard Ferguson, president and founder of Black Physicians of Utah. “Mentorship by Black physicians and other providers of color gives guidance and opportunities to marginalized groups, like African Americans in Utah, who are often overlooked and dismissed. I would not be where I am today if it were not for the mentors who fostered my interests in science and medicine at an early age.”

Students 16 years and older can register for the free event at https://bpou.org/.

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