| Program: || Alternatives in Medicine: HIGH School Exposure Program, Dallas, TX |
| Contact(s): || M. Renee Valdez or Gussie Robinson, Program Directors: (214) 648-2168 |
| Purpose: || To provide underrepresented minority high school students with access to information about and exposure to minority role models in the |
The Alternatives in Medicine: HIGH School Exposure Program (A.I.M. HIGH) of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas was created in 1992 by the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) in an effort to motivate primarily African American male youth. The program has expanded to serve a population of students that is half African American and half Hispanic students, as well as half female and half male students. As a result of these changes in demographics, A.I.M. HIGH is now co-sponsored both by the Latin American Student Association (LASO) and SNMA.
Applications for A.I.M. HIGH are distributed throughout the Dallas Independent School District to 9th and 10th grade high school students at 12 local high schools that have a predominantly minority student population. A committee made up of SNMA and LASO members then reviews these applications for students who demonstrate a serious interest in the health profession; from there, approximately one hundred 9th and 10th graders are selected. The specific goals for A.I.M. HIGH are the following: 1.) to expose minority high school students who are interested in the sciences to different health professions; 2.) to facilitate interaction among minority high school students, medical students and faculty in the health science community; 3.) to increase awareness of the unique needs of minority and economically disadvantaged communities; 4.) to strengthen high school students' motivation in pursuing a career in the sciences by using creative scientific, sociopolitical and cultural methods; and 5.) to advise serious college-bound minority high school students on how to achieve and succeed in a premedical curriculum as well as in college in general. The program is made up of seven four-hour sessions. Each four-hour session is divided into 2 mini-sessions, one that focuses on issues pertinent to the health profession and the other that allows students to write essays about themselves and their career aspirations. Issues that have been previously covered in these sessions include "Career Options in Medicine," "Teen Sexuality and Teen Violence," and "Preventative Health."
Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments
The first class of A.I.M. HIGH students are scheduled to graduate from college in spring 1998.