Local event promotes success for future underrepresented minority physicians

Future and current physicians participated in the annual Critical Mass Gathering event on Oct. 13 at the UMKC Student Union.

For more than a decade, underrepresented minority students in the Kansas City area eager for careers as physicians, have found encouragement at Critical Mass Gathering a free, day-long program to promote excellence and success in the field.

Underrepresented minority students at Kansas City’s three area medical schools, UMKC School of Medicine, University of Kansas School of Medicine and the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, and those in the greater Kansas City area interested in pursuing a career as a physician participated in the annual event on Oct. 13 at the UMKC Student Union.

This year’s program featured workshops such as strategies for medical students preparing to take medical licensing exams, scenarios of physicians in natural disaster and mass casualty events and one-on-one mentoring sessions with local physicians.

Following a dinner, students heard a panel discussion on financing tips, residency interview techniques, and preparing for boards. Stephen Odaibo, M.D., founder and CEO of RETINA-AI, a company using artificial intelligence to improve health care, gave an evening keynote address about the impact of artificial intelligence on the future of medicine.

“Critical Mass Gathering has been providing mentorship for 13 years, which is an essential component of successful matriculation,” said Nate Thomas, UMKC School of Medicine associate dean for diversity and inclusion.