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Local colleges zero in on rural, Hmong medical students

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) -- Ten undergrads who want to study medicine at UWSP-Wausau who might be underrepresented will be able to get professional development training in a new program. Professors say the program is much needed to help make sure the medical field is diversified.

"There are lots of hoops to jump to in order to get admitted to med school that right there makes for inequities," said Dr. Corina Norrbom an assitant professor for the Medical College of Wisconsin- Central Wisconsin.

Those inequities is something the Medical College of Wisconsin is working toward shortening.

"We realized we are still lacking diversity in our classes basically this program aims to get students from underrepresented backgrounds into the medical profession," Dr. Norrbom said.

All in hopes to drive more Hmong or students from rural backgrounds to work in the medical field with mentor ship from professors as well as classes being held at UWSP-Wausau.

"We have phenomenal faculty it will be a chance to recruit students who will serve the region as medical professionals," said Dr. Ann herda-Rap, the UWSP-Wausau campus executive.

Some residents say having diversity in the medical field is comforting.

"I think if we are receiving care with someone with a familiar culture or background it will help put them at ease where they will feel comfortable talking about their health," said Mary Thao of Wausau.

The end goal is to have local students come back and serve their community.

Application forms are not yet available, but interested students may contact Dr. Prunuske, aprunuske@mcw.edu.

Victoria Saha

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