‘AHmong Us’ encourages Hmong students to enter the medical field
WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) – The Hmong community makes up 12% of Wausau’s population, but Hmong health professionals are underrepresented. A program called AHmong Us tries to solve this problem by giving students the training they need.
Ten high school students received hands-on preparation and mentorship for medical school.
“I really wish I had had this kind of opportunity when I was a kid,” said Andrew Sepiol, a 2nd-year medical student at the Medical College of Wisconsin Central Wisconsin.
Sepiol worked directly with the group of students. He said he has a passion for helping Hmong students who want to enter the medical field.
“Some medical schools will make it harder for people of certain races who are cited as being overrepresented in medicine. So Asians are usually listed as overrepresented in medicine, but people of Hmong descent are also listed as Asians. There aren’t too many Hmong doctors,” Sepiol said.
For many, the thought of medical school can be daunting.
“I hear Hmong students telling me that ‘I’m intimidated to apply’ even to the AMP program just because they feel like it’s a lot of commitment and they feel it because they don’t know person who went through the processes,” said Sheng Khang, Education Outreach Coordinator.
This is why relationship building is an important aspect of the program.
“Having someone humanize the process would have helped me so much to start earlier and boost my confidence,” Sepiol said.
“I think this program itself is just a confidence booster. We are here to help these students understand that they can do anything they want. And that they can be like these leaders and professionals we bring in,” said Maysee Lao, mentor of the college program.
The first session of the program was such a success that they welcome 10 more students. Recruitment has already started. Please email [email protected] if you want the app. For this session, all underrepresented populations are invited to apply.
Copyright 2021 WSAW. All rights reserved.