Medical Students' Perceptions of American Indian-Focused Educational Experiences

Benjamin Jacobs, Den Yelle Baete Kenyon, Mark N. Beard, Dawn St A. Bragg, Gerald J. Yutrzenka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: American Indians are burdened with a myriad of health disparities. As South Dakota's largest minority population, increasing medical students' experiences with the healthcare of American Indians can play a significant role in helping to alleviate American Indians' health disparities as these future physicians will be better able to predict, detect, and treat the health care needs of this population. METHODS: Survey data from 103 medical students at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine (SSOM) was collected and analyzed. Demographic information and perceived levels of being informed about American Indians and populations on reservations were collected. Furthermore, medical students' insights on how the SSOM can improve its students' educational experiences with American Indian populations were also collected. RESULTS: Compared to their perceived knowledge of American Indians prior to beginning medical school (26.2 percent), responding medical students believe they became more informed regarding American Indians (61.2 percent) as they progressed through medical school. Fifty-one of the 64 students (80 percent) who answered the open-ended question noted that their medical training would benefit from increased opportunities (including required) with American Indian people, culture, and reservation-based communities. CONCLUSION: There is a desire amongst medical students to increase and require more cultural information and clinical experiences with American Indian people and populations on reservations. Future research is needed to obtain medical student feedback on the newly implemented curriculum and elective opportunities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)408-412
Number of pages5
JournalSouth Dakota medicine : the journal of the South Dakota State Medical Association
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Medical Students' Perceptions of American Indian-Focused Educational Experiences'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this