As African Americans lack representation within the medical field American Indians and Alaska Natives have even less representation.
Only 62 American Indian or Alaska Native students have graduated from the University of Wisconsin of Medicine and Public Health within the past 37 years out of 5,481 graduates.
The low number of American Indian/Alaska Natives graduates can be attributed in part due to internalized learned behavior from boarding school experiences passed from one generation to the next. It can also be attributed to lack of representation of physicians to serve as role models to other American Indian/Alaska Natives. Even so, sometimes American Indians/Alaska Native do not have access to physician care so they do not view that as a feasible attainment for them.
This not only impacts the number of American Indian/Alaska Natives physicians but the knowledge and way to treat American Indians/Alaska Natives is not very well understood. A large majority of Americans lack knowledge of key health issues that impact their community the most and the best way to address such issues.