Diversity is an integral element of our medical school experience. Our Office of Diversity and Inclusion and many diverse programs show our commitment to incorporating people and views from many different backgrounds.

Our Mission

The Sanford School of Medicine values diversity and its essential role in achieving the educational, scholarship and service missions of the school. Therefore, the medical school is committed to both recruiting and retaining students, residents, faculty and staff who, through their diversity, enrich the learning environment and promote inclusive excellence. We recognize diversity as relating to race, ethnicity, creed, rural background, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, age and disability. In addition, we value people with broad life experiences, with records of service to disadvantaged populations, and with other attributes that may enhance the learning community.

The medical school has chosen three areas of emphasis on diversity to enrich the learning environment and promote inclusive excellence: American Indians, rural and gender.

USD Sanford School of Medicine Diversity Programs

Learn more about the Sanford School of Medicine programs and groups that promote diversity on campus, including:

  • Indians into Medicine (INMED) Satellite Office
  • Native American Healthcare Scholars Program (NAHSP)
  • American Indian Sciences and Engineering Society (AISES)
  • Healthcare Career Summer Camp (HCSC)
  • Asniya Elective
  • SSOM Cultural Colloquium
  • SSOM Diversity Dialogues
  • SSOM Diversity Health Affairs Committee

SSOM Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Our office plays a key role in directing efforts to enhance the diversity of the School of Medicine. We promote a welcoming and inclusive environment for our students, faculty and staff. We do this through a variety of direct programming, formulating and carrying out strategic plans and by serving as a resource for consultation and support of the students, faculty and staff of the Sanford School of Medicine. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion works collaboratively to promote inclusive excellence at the university.

Our Office Responsibilities

  • Directs the SSOM Indians into Medicine (INMED ) Satellite Office and supports INMED-related activities in South Dakota and the region.
  • Supports recruitment of American Indian high school students from South Dakota and the region to careers in medicine and other health care professions. Advises, mentors and supports USD American Indian students interested in pursuing careers in medicine and health care professions.
  • Directs the Native American Healthcare Scholars Program (NAHSP) which advises, mentors and otherwise supports selected SD Native American high school students interested in pursuing careers in health care professions. 
  • Directs the USD Chapter of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES).
  • Directs the annual Healthcare Career Summer Camp for high school students in South Dakota and nearby areas of Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota.
  • Member of the SSOM Native American Healthcare Opportunities (NAHO) collaborative. 
  • Member of the Great Lakes Collaborative annual Pre-Admission Workshop for American Indian Pre-Med students.
  • Directs the American Indian-focused Healthcare Career Summer Camp (begins summer 2017).
  • Member of the HRSA-Pine Ridge reservation health care workforce development work group.
  • Directs the Diversity Dialogues Seminar series.
  • Participates in planning the Cultural Awareness Colloquium for Pillar 3 medical students.
  • Directs the ASNIYA teaching-service learning elective for Pillar 3 medical students.
  • Collaborates in developing and supporting medical student short-term observation (one to three days) and month-long clinical experiences within reservation-based Indian Health Service facilities. 
  • Collaborates with SSOM Medical Student Affairs in presenting the USD Pre-Med Seminar series.  
  • Directs the USD Pre-Medicine Society.
  • Directs the SSOM Alumni Student Scholars Program (ASSP).
  • Collaborates with the SSOM Women in Medicine and Science (WIMS) organization.
  • Directs the Diversity Health Affairs Committee, comprising faculty and student representatives of the Sanford School of Medicine and the USD School of Health Sciences.
  • Participates in the USD President’s Council on Diversity and Inclusiveness.
  • Serves as the SSOM representative to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Central region Group on Student Diversity Affairs.
  • Member of Pathways into Health, a national organization designed to enhance opportunities for American Indian/Alaskan Natives to address health disparities and enhance participation in careers in healthcare professions.