The School of Public Health at the University of Michigan is committed to eliminating racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in health (health disparities). Simply stated, health disparities mean that, in the U.S., people of color and the poor experience lower health status than Caucasians and higher-income Americans. These disparities represent inequalities in that people of color and low-income people should be able to enjoy the same health status as whites and more affluent Americans, but they are systematically exposed to conditions and situations that have negative consequences for their health.
As part of this commitment, the School of Public Health offers health management and policy internships and class work in a summer program that addresses these health disparities. The internships, which provide paid placements in hospitals, community health programs, public health departments, and other health services and public health agencies in Detroit, Ann Arbor and Flint, enable students to work in organizations that confront these disparities every day.
The Summer Enrichment Program encourages undergraduates to consider health management and policy as an attractive career option through which they can address health disparities by familiarizing them with the field through a structured summer work experience. Each placement is designed to offer a stimulating opportunity for awareness, learning and growth. The ultimate goal is to increase participation of students committed to eliminating health disparities in this important and exciting field.
Students entering their junior or senior year of undergraduate study are eligible to apply to the Summer Enrichment Program in Health Management and Policy. Those pursuing degrees in the social sciences, the biological sciences, and other fields pertinent to health management and policy, such as economics, political science, accounting and finance, are especially encouraged to apply. Past interns, however, have come from a variety of other undergraduate fields of study, e.g. the Humanities and Fine Arts. Applicants must be U.S. citizens. Because the majority of placements are in Detroit, Ann Arbor or Flint, all participants must reside in Southeast Michigan or Genesee County during the summer.
Successful applicants will show evidence of academic achievement (a 2.8 or above grade point average on a 4.0 scale) and will demonstrate one or more of the following:
- You, or a member of your family, have been adversely affected by health disparities related to: a) systemic failures of the social or physical environment; or, b) inequities in the US health care system.
- Live in a community or area that is adversely affected by health disparities. Such communities would include both urban and rural areas whose residents have low health status or who are underserved by the health care system.
- Have experience working in programs that address health disparities. Such programs include local health departments, community health centers, inner city/ rural hospitals or organizations that conduct research on or develop policy related to health disparities.
- Have done previous academic work (e.g. taken courses, written papers or participate in research projects) related to health disparities.