We are a group of second year medical students at the University of Michigan Medical School. We are all members & allies of the Michigan Intersectional Health Collaborative (MIHC), the university’s first community hub for medical students of color passionate about health justice work. This conference emerges from our personal passions to improve healthcare for the marginalized, our commitment to innovate, and our efforts integrating these passions into our training as medical students.
In our own education, we are immediately exposed to nearly every medical specialty. The vast majority of our lectures are not delivered by primary care doctors. Often, we are introduced to the opportunities within these professions too late. Students of color (and in particular trainees underrepresented in medicine) face compounded pressures regarding our own commitments to primary care given its pivotal role in shaping many of our own early experiences with medicine. Do we pursue primary care to most directly interface with our communities, or do we fight to break glass ceilings in specialty professions that have marginalized us for posterity?
This conference is a salient opportunity. At its core, primary care serving communities of color is a collaboration — of different fields, types of clinicians, agencies and organizations, and patients of diverse life experiences. We envision this to be a new space for all of these stakeholders to engage in dialogue that centers the health needs of communities of color, empowers clinicians and institutions to support one another in meeting those needs, and builds new partnerships for health equity work. This is an active space, a working space, and an accountability space.
Our conference and panelists are rooted in our communities of color we are accountable to serving, located in Southeastern Michigan. However, we welcome healthcare institutions & trainees across the country to the conversation.