Record Number of Native American Students Enter U of M Medical School, Duluth

Ryan Juntti
Updated: August 16, 2019 10:58 PM

There's long been a need for more medical care in Native American communities. Now, an incoming class of students at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth could help fill that need.


65 students received their white coats on Friday with a record number of them being Native Americans.

The white coats symbolize the start of the students pursuing their doctorate degrees.

The students were called to the stage one by one to receive their white coats where they were also handed a stethoscope.

Family and friends were on hand to take in the special moment as well. 

Two students who received their white coats offer advice to anyone looking to go down the same path.

"Really reflect and think about what your passion is. We all love medicine, but what's your specific purpose, and passion in medicine that you want to help?" said Elizabeth Bade, who wants to be a family practice doctor.

"As much work, and as hard as it may seem, there's a lot of people that might not think that they can do it that can actually do it," said Brad Fossum, who is thinking he wants to pursue family medicine. "Putting in the time and effort that's really what it comes down to. It's not about how smart you are. It's whether or not you want to do it," he said. 

After the ceremony, the students were able to gather with their families and enjoy some light refreshments.

Even before this year's large class of incoming Native Americans of 12, the school had already graduated the second-largest number of American Indian physicians in the nation.


Ryan Juntti

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