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Medical News & Perspectives
March 25, 2020

Boosting the Ranks of American Indian and Alaska Native Physicians

JAMA. 2020;323(14):1330-1332. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.2349

Jasmine Curry feels lucky to be a first-year medical student. The daughter of a single mother in Arizona, she spent summers and winter breaks in Kaibeto, a small Navajo Nation town. Now, she’s looking forward to a primary care career to help combat preventable illnesses in Native American communities.

“It’s everything my family and I have ever prayed for,” Curry said in an article describing her nontraditional path to medical education. She is 1 of 5 first-year students at the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Medical School who were in last year’s inaugural class of the innovative Wy’east program, which gives a second chance to Native American and Alaska Native students who didn’t get into medical school on their first try.

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