Ruth Manzanares '18
Last Saturday, I was extremely fortunate to go to the Latino Medical Student Association 43rd Annual Northeast Conference at Dartmouth. This conference is open to high school students interested in medicine, undergraduate pre-med students, and medical students. Some of the schools that form part of the Northeast chapters are Yale, Harvard, Dartmouth, and NYU, among other medical schools. (The Northeast chapter of LMSA has yet to include undergraduates.) The conference was a day long event made up of several key speakers and workshops that not only explored navigating the medical field as an underrepresented minority, but also the implications of being a Latinx individual in the medical world. Such topics included public health, undocumented Latinx that do not have insurance, politics in the medical world, and what is being done to try and change it to accommodate to the increasing number of Latinx in America. It was an extremely validating to experience and hear all the different success stories of young Latinx students who, despite all their trials and tribulations, were able to make it to medical school in the end.
Our Tuesday meeting last week largely focused on a paper, “Female peers in small work groups enhance women’s motivation, verbal participation, and career aspirations in engineering” authored by Dasgupta, et al. Dasgupta, a professor in the department of Psychological and Brain Sciences next door to us at UMass Amherst, emphasized the nationwide need to increase the representation of women in STEM fields, pointing out that although the scarcity of women in these fields is widely recognized, few data-driven solutions are offered.