DMU Sheds Light on the Importance of Cultural Competence in Health Care

Preparing future health care professionals to be culturally knowledgeable and more aware of their own cultural biases is not just the right thing to do; cultural competency is vital to effective health care.

The most diverse medical schools, DMU included, recognize that health care professionals who better understand and interact with patients and colleagues can provide more effective services and patient-centered care. That’s because these health care professionals are better equipped with the skills they need to build relationships and trust with their patients, which in turn, creates better patient compliance and outcomes.

From primary to specialty care, the United States could see an estimated shortage of up to 124,000 physicians by 2034, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Begin your health sciences education now at DMU to develop the clinical, interprofessional and communication skills you need to work with colleagues in delivering the best care for your patients — from head to toe. You’ll also be prepared for whatever comes next, whether it’s residency, the national board exam, advanced education, and beyond.

Health P.A.S.S.

June 11-July 1, 2022 - Take the first step toward a health professions career at DMU.

Des Moines University’s Health Professions Advanced Summer Scholars Program – Health P.A.S.S. – is a great way to prepare for and enhance your chances of getting into medical or health professions school. Health P.A.S.S. provides you with key insights and hands-on experience in a variety of health professions.

Get a head start in exploring careers in medicine, health care and science at a top-quality university that prioritizes student success. At Health P.A.S.S., you’ll find out what it’s like to be a physical therapy, physician assistant or medical student as you…

  • Learn from lectures and presentations in four clinical areas: osteopathic medicine, podiatric medicine, physical therapy and physician assistant studies.
  • Enjoy hands-on experiences in state-of-the-art facilities, including simulations with life-like medical mannequins and labs to test your casting, suturing and surgery skills.
  • Shadow doctors and other health care providers in the on-campus clinic.
  • Prep for medical/health professions school by participating in mock interviews and giving presentations to enhance your confidence and success.
  • Receive guidance from student mentors and interact with DMU faculty, students and staff.

Des Moines University covers the costs of your meals while on campus and residence hall accommodations at nearby Drake University. Enjoy fun, chaperoned activities on campus and around Iowa’s capital on weekends. A travel stipend of up to $500 will be provided, too.

For questions about the application and admissions process, please call 515-271-1499 or email

For questions about the program, please call 515-271-1678 or email



“Words cannot fully express how grateful I am for such a wonderful and life-changing opportunity that I had as a participant in DMU’s Summer Health PASS program. Not only did I learn so much about the different health science programs, the university, the city, and the people, I was also able to learn more about myself. The Summer Health PASS program had such a positive impact on me.”

- Jessica Chu, Health P.A.S.S. 2016, Xavier University

“As a recent immigrant to this country, Health P.A.S.S. provided me with an inclusive atmosphere where I obtained clinical experience focusing on the importance of cultural competency.”

- Koushik Paul, Health P.A.S.S. 2015, University of Minnesota

“Health P.A.S.S. not only motivated me to continue on my journey to medicine, but it taught me a wealth of knowledge that has proven to be invaluable.”

- Ashley Costello, Health P.A.S.S. 2015, CUNY-Lehman College

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