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Pre-Health Program

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Students Who Are Underrepresented in Medicine (URiM)

Who is a URiM student?

URiM stands for “underrepresented in medicine.” This abbreviation encompasses students who fall into any of the following categories:

  • From racial or ethnic groups underrepresented in medicine and other health professions (including Latinx, Hispanic, Black, African American, Alaska/Hawaii Native, Native American, and Main Land Puerto Rican)
  • From economically disadvantaged backgrounds
  • In the first generation of those in their family to attend college

Why are there unique opportunities for URiM students?

Healthcare providers hold a particularly important role in society and are required to interact with patients of various socioeconomic backgrounds and cultures. Further, race and socioeconomic status play a significant role in medical outcomes of patients, as well as career trajectories for students. Consequently, the percentage of clinicians who come from minority backgrounds is significantly lower than the percentage of people from minority backgrounds in the nation.

There is a great need to have trained clinicians from underrepresented populations who have a better understanding of the unique cultural backgrounds, and sometimes language, of patients. Additionally, physicians who come from populations underrepresented in medicine are more likely to serve in disadvantaged areas that have a shortage of physicians. Therefore, programs exist to help increase the diversity of students who are prepared for and enthusiastic about healthcare.

Much more information about diversity in medicine can be found on the AAMC website.

On-campus resources

Pre-Health Scholar Cohort for URiM students

This program is designed to provide a support network for students who might not have a community support network. Activities include workshops, social activities, and meeting with healthcare providers who themselves are URiM. In the first semester, students meet twice per month as a group and at least once per month individually with the Pre-Health Program Coordinator. After the first semester, students will meet once per month for as long as they remain at Marist.

Center for Multicultural Affairs

The Marist Center for Multicultural Affairs is committed to creating culturally competent environment for the betterment of all students. They serve to increase knowledge across the campus, provide workshops, and to support a number of clubs and organizations focused on issues of culture and diversity.

Off-campus organizations that support diversity in healthcare

Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP)

The AAMC's SHPEP program is “a free summer enrichment program focused on improving access to information and resources for college students interested in the health professions. SHPEP’s goal is to strengthen the academic proficiency and career development of students underrepresented in the health professions and prepare them for a successful application and matriculation to health professions schools. These students include, but are not limited to, individuals who identify as African American/Black, American Indian and Alaska Native and Hispanic/Latino, and who are from communities of socioeconomic and educational disadvantage.” Applications are competitive. offers links to a number of organizations that support and foster diversity of all kinds. Additionally, there are links to organizations that advocate for equality in healthcare across race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, etc.