Shifting the tide: Innovative strategies to develop an american indian/alaska native physician workforce

Erik Brodt, Allison Empey, Peter Mayinger, Marissa Fuqua Miller, Dove Spector, Rosa Frutos, Amanda Bruegl, Shoshana Zeisman-Pereyo, Polly Olsen, Patricia A. Carney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Despite extensive efforts to diversify the US physician workforce and increases in both the number of US medical schools and number of students enrolled, there has been no difference in the matriculation and graduation of American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN). Furthermore, advancement remains elusive for AI/AN US medical school faculty, which currently constitutes approximately 0.1% of all US medical school faculty and remains disproportionately underrepresented at the Associate and Full Professor ranks. The Northwest Native American Center of Excellence (NNACoE) aims to address these worrisome trends by implementing innovative programs to support a meaningful journey toward recruiting, training, and supporting AI/AN youth, medical students and faculty. NNACoE has piloted three innovations: 1) Tribal Health Scholars, a 14-week clinical shadowing experience for AI/AN youth in their tribal clinic; 2) Wy’East Post-baccalaureate Pathway, a 9-month structured curriculum with conditional acceptance into Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine; and 3) Indigenous Faculty Forum, a longitudinal professional development conference for AI/AN medical school faculty to foster career advancement. NNACoE piloted all three programs in 2017 and is actively expanding efforts, while systematically evaluating all programs. Pilot results demonstrate that all Tribal Health Scholars are pursuing college and health science majors, 10 AI/AN Wy’East Post-Baccalaureate Scholars are enrolled to date, and 63 Indigenous medical school faculty are participating in professional development. More systematic evaluation of AI/AN-specific programming is needed to better illuminate how to successfully recruit, train and retain AI/ ANs in the US physician workforce.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-25
Number of pages5
JournalHawai'i journal of health & social welfare
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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