Cultural Competency Programming
The university’s mission includes developing students’ cultural competency — the ability to interact with a wide range of individuals, families and populations with knowledge, sensitivity, skill and respect, according to their cultural needs, values, beliefs and risk factors. DMU will proudly expand its current efforts to prepare students to serve diverse patients and communities, especially the underserved.
This program gives promising college students a transformative opportunity to improve their chances of becoming admitted to medical school and other health sciences programs. Offered free to participants, the program provides immersive experiences and exposure to health care education and careers. Preference is given to students underrepresented in health care, including minority, low-income and first-generation college students.
Scholarships and Funds
The university has established a variety of funds that provide critically needed scholarships, bring distinguished experts to campus, support provocative conferences and more. Each DMU college and academic program has a scholarship fund as well as a fund that supports their specific priorities.
Many donors choose to create “unrestricted” scholarships, which give the university flexibility in awarding funds to students with the greatest financial need. Donors also may define criteria for recipients of the scholarship, including DMU college or program, grade point average or level (e.g., first year, second year, etc.).
Endowed scholarship funds are a lasting source of support for students, because only the earnings – not the principal – of the funds are paid out as scholarships. In addition, endowed scholarship funds may be named by the donor, a wonderful way to honor a loved one, a family name or an individual important to the donor for years to come.
The minimum gift required to establish an endowed scholarship fund at DMU is $50,000, which may be given as a onetime gift or with a pledge to the university. The first award is made once the endowment is fully funded.
Mental Health Initiatives
The dire lack of access to mental health care represents a moral, medical and financial catastrophe worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, one of every four people in the world will be affected by a mental or neurological disorder at some point in their lives. To help tackle this enormous crisis, in 2017 DMU became the nation’s first medical school to partner with the National Alliance on Mental Illness to provide training for its clinical students to recognize and respond to patients with mental illness.
All students in DMU’s four clinical programs – osteopathic medicine, podiatric medicine, physician assistant studies and physical therapy – will be required to participate in the three-day NAMI provider training program. The goal is to give these future health care providers a framework for understanding patient needs, develop appropriate treatment plans and refer patients to available resources. The NAMI program also seeks to foster clinical empathy for patients, dispelling negative stigmas of mental illness.
“Cultural competency in medicine is designed to introduce and engage students in important conversations about diverse populations and how to deliver culturally responsive care. It’s critical to effective care.”