Bako Orionzi, Class of 2018, SNMA Co-Vice President 2015-2016
Why did you choose the University of Minnesota Medical School and what did you like about it?
I grew up in MN and coming back to my state school was the sensible choice as far as tuition goes and the increasing cost in attending medical school. But that being said, I didn’t want that to stop me from going to the school I wanted for the best fit, and the U of MN still fulfilled that. At both my interview day and revisit day, I felt a grand sense of community even before I had chosen to attend officially. SNMA and the office of Minority and Diversity Affairs went a long way to just make me feel welcome and that there were people who wanted to see me not only succeed but also have an enjoyable experience. That coupled with the prestigious reputation of UMN made my decision easy when it came down to it.
What would you change about the University of Minnesota Medical School?
The main thing I would change is to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in the student body, faculty and staff. Even in Minnesota, the population of the medical school needs to reflect the population of the community and the twin cities have become very diverse in recent years. The school has been doing a good job in recruiting more diverse students who grew up in Minnesota, but having a diverse faculty and staff will go an even longer way in recruiting and keeping those students around.
What makes the University of Minnesota Medical School distinctive?
Many people don’t realize early on that the U of MN medical school has been a pioneer in many different medical advances over the last few decades. Many physicians who described certain diseases or developed procedures did their work at the U. The twin cities are a hub for medical device companies and UMN has a hand in the advancing technology of biomedical engineering. Yet the school has a distinct reputation of training primary care physicians for work with different populations. I think being on the forefront of these different realms is a very distinctive thing to recognize in one medical school.
What is the relationship between the students and the surrounding community?
The U of MN is still developing their relationships with the surrounding community, and that is advancing, as more students from the different communities are becoming students at the medical school. SNMA has had a large part in leading the relationships the U has with the surrounding community by hosting events like our annual Health Fair. Also since UMN is the only medical school in the twin cities, that allows students to do their clinical training across all the different clinical sites and work with whichever communities of the twin cities we want to.
If you had to choose a Medical School again, would you still choose the University of Minnesota Medical School?
Yes! I have had a wonderful experience beginning my clinical career and exploring the options I am interested in, and I have met some of the most amazing people that I am proud to call my mentors and colleagues!