INMED Summer Institute
University of North Dakota
A cloudless day greeted The University of North Dakota summer camp. The Indians into Medicine (INMED) Summer Institute looks like any other summer camp but don’t let that fool you. The INMED Summer Institute is packed with some of the finest minds from each of their areas.
The INMED Summer Institute, composed of 94 students entering eighth grade through the first year of college, gathered on the UND quad for a class photo. In the Summer Institute, American Indian students from states as far as Utah come to The University of North Dakota for a six week program. The program, designed to help American Indian students attain careers in the medical field, boasts exceptionally high college graduation rates and nearly 100 percent college matriculation.
Director of the program, Eugene DeLorme, is proud of its accomplishments. He stated, “the program’s focus is not just on educating American Indians, it’s returning them to their communities to serve.” He continued “INMED is not just doctors. It’s multifaceted … we’re looking at people that end up in nursing, dietetics, even medical social work.”
The program began in 1973, after realizing a shortfall in health services available on reservations and tribal areas. Since then, the UND program has been offering high quality educational preparation and its students have strong college entrance rates. Impressively, UND’s INMED program is one of the only programs in the nation to run continuously, despite frequent budget cuts.
Kilyn, an eighth grader in the INMED Summer Institute from Belcourt, North Dakota, has high aspirations. When asked about her plans for the future, she said, “I want to go to Dartmouth or Harvard.” She continued, “I would like to do physical therapy, anything with biology, or journalism … I already write newsletters.”
Entering into the INMED Summer Institute requires a top level of academic achievement in high school and passion to join the program. In addition to being very selective about student grade point averages, the program also asks for a lengthy written essay.
Alex Cavanaugh, an entering English masters student at UND, discussed his role as an INMED summer counselor. “This is my third year as a counselor. My relationship with these students is what makes this [program] not like school. Counselors live with students, they help them with school and they go on field trips with them.”
Another counselor stated the summer institute “helps with math, science and biology. Some schools don’t offer chemistry before the sophomore year of high school, but [the students] get it here.”
The program offers extra educational opportunities in mathematics, biology, chemistry, and physics, in addition to numerous field trips.
When asked about the growth of the program, he said, “The program has not grown but, in spite of all the budget cuts, it has remained.” He continued, “The program has lasted all of these years, continuously, since 1973. We can expand to other schools and still be part of the INMED program.”
The UND INMED program is lucky, in this regard. Many INMED programs across the nation shut down in recent years from budget cuts. Notable among the closed INMED programs is The University of Arizona, which did not receive the necessary grant funding to continue.
The Summer Institute at UND is just one offering of the INMED program, which also helps college students with difficult classes and preparation for the MCATS or Medical School applications.
Boucher, Evan, "INMED Summer Institute" (2011). UND News Archive. 106.