This fall, the UBC Faculty of Medicine’s Aboriginal Admissions program will celebrate its 10 year anniversary. Over the last decade, the Aboriginal Admissions program’s pre-admissions, admissions and support initiatives for Aboriginal medical students has increased enrollment and graduation, and is now recognized as a model for other Canadian faculties of medicine.
The program was designed to increase the number of Aboriginal medical students and physicians in British Columbia. Academic success of Aboriginal students is contingent upon early educational engagement. Programs such as the Summer Science Program and the Pre-Admissions Workshop (conducted by the Division of Aboriginal People’s Health) introduce science and medical career role models to young Aboriginal students and foster academic success by early engagement and recruitment. Aboriginal MD students also serve as mentors to applicants in the pre-admissions stage, forging strong relationships and systems of peer support.
In May 2012, 12 Aboriginal physicians graduated from the MD Undergraduate Program, bringing the total number of graduates to 35. UBC is on track to graduate 50 Aboriginal MDs by 2014.
To celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the Aboriginal Admissions program, the Faculty hosted a traditional celebration feast at the UBC Longhouse on November 8th, 2012. The evening included distinguished guest speakers, Coast Salish dancers, Metis performers and a salmon feast.