A Multicultural Perspective

Yale minority medical students begin their first year with experiences and interests as varied as the career pathways they will pursue upon leaving. They develop a network of friends and colleagues built on a foundation of mutual support and respect. Together they create a spirit of community and camaraderie that makes Yale a very special place.

A place to learn how to learn for the rest of your career

The Yale System of education emphasizes interactive, small group learning, a great deal of study time, and the close interaction of students and faculty as colleagues. In the first two years, students direct and individualize their learning experience without the daily pressure of intense competition and grading that characterize most pre-medical experiences. This amount of responsibility can be challenging for some, liberating for others, and invaluable to all future physicians.

A place to train in varied hospital and community settings

Clinical medicine is introduced during the first and second years through the Doctor-Patient Course. Students form small groups and are assigned a Clinical Tutor. These groups meet during the first and second year to practice basic clinical skills; students learn to take a history, perform a complete physical, and present cases accurately and sensitively. Yale students are trained to be excellent clinicians and caring physicians. During the third and fourth years, students have the unique opportunity to perform their clerkships at Yale-New Haven Hospital, a facility which combines a tertiary care center, a community hospital, a University hospital, and an urban hospital under one roof.

Many students pursue training in community and primary care settings. They perform their rotations at New Haven area health clinics, HMO's or one of the 10 statewide private and public hospitals affiliated with Yale-New Haven. Other students elect to do their clerkships at other sites such as the Indian National Health Service, hospitals in their hometowns, or in foreign countries.

A place to pursue your passions

Have you dreamed of making a difference in health care or minority medical education? Of working with National Academy of Science members or renowned educational experts? Oppor-tunities abound for Yale medical students. In fact, approximately 1/3 of the students in each class take a "fifth year" to make the most of these opportunities. Some fifth year projects our students have pursued: Some fifth year projects our students have pursued:

  • obtaining a law or management degree
  • pursuing a degree in epidemiology and public health
  • serving as national president of the SNMA
  • researching the role of parathyroid hormone related protein as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scholar

A place to find a community

The Yale System truly ensures a noncompetitive, supportive environment. Students form study groups that emphasize learning and understanding not competing. Small groups, seminars, and clinical tutorials allow students to engage professors and peers in discussions ranging from hematology to health care administration. The size of the medical center lets every student interact closely with faculty, housestaff, and administrators.

A place to call home

New Haven is home to some of the nation's best theater, music, art, and food. Tony award winning plays at the Yale Repertory Theater; lectures by notables such as Spike Lee and Angela Davis, and musical events from jazz to the symphony happen every evening in New Haven. Add in nearby beaches, beautiful parks, and you have a great place to live.

A place to get involved

The freedom inherent in the Yale System lets students pursue a variety of other interests during the first two years. Yale students serve on admissions and curriculum committees, teach teenagers about AIDS and organize first year camping trips, to name just a few extracurricular activities.

A place to explore the resources of a major university

  • The Afro-American Cultural Center
  • The Black Graduate Network
  • Casa Cultural Julia de Burgos
  • Chicano Cultural Center
  • Asian-American Cultural Center
  • The Black Church at Yale

A place to conduct research

Yale's thesis requirement is a unique and essential part of a Yale education, designed to develop critical judgment and the habits of self-education. Many students begin their initial research during the summer after their first year, working closely with faculty. The Office of Student Research assists all students in finding topics, advisors, and funding for their projects. Some past topics have included:

  • African-Americans at the Yale University School of Medicine: 1810 - 1960
  • Cocaine: Media Coverage and Medical Opinion
  • Central Adiposity and its Metabolic Correlates in Obese Adolescent Girls
  • Astrocyte Gap Junctions and Their Contribution to Non-Synaptic Epileptogenesis
  • Reconsidering Trust in the Physician-Patient Relationship
  • Molecular Mechanisms of Drug Addiction: Evidence for a Functional Role of Morphine
  • Regulation of CREB Expression in the Nucleus of Accumbens

For those students prepared to undertake the rigors of advanced graduate science training, the M.D./Ph.D. program offers superb resources and support for training the next generation of clinician-scientists and researchers.

A place to make a difference

Yale medical students participate in over 40 community service organizations. Here are a few:

  • HPREP (Health Professions Recruitment Exposure Program) Sponsored by SNMA, HPREP is a nation-wide high school science enrichment program aimed at recruiting minority high school students into careers in the sciences. Yale students teach high school students a variety of scientific topics every Saturday morning throughout the school year.
  • STATS (Students Teaching AIDS to Students) Medical and public health students educate New Haven teenagers about HIV transmission and treatment. Role-plays, condom demos and other activities are used to allow the students to become more comfortable discussing AIDS-related issues.
  • HOPE (Homeless Outreach Program for Enrichment) Project HOPE is an umbrella project encompassing educational and health services at three New Haven homeless shelters. The HOPE program brings together volunteers from the schools of medicine, nursing, and public health to teach the educational programs and staff the weekly clinics.

See the web page of the Committee Overseeing Volunteer Services for more information on these programs and many more.