Dr. Dale Sanders always knew he wanted to be in the medical field, but he wasn’t positive what his niche was until he got involved with the Student National Medical Association (SNMA).
“Being involved with SNMA has given me a clearer vision of the things we need to do while training physicians,” says Sanders. “We really need to instill values in our students that reflect the notion that health care is for the people.”
SNMA is the nation’s oldest and largest independent, student-run organization focused on the needs and concerns of medical students of color. Sanders says his experience over the past 10 years has been priceless.
After attending the University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine, where he became a doctor of osteopathic medicine, SNMA inspired him to remove his stethoscope and return to the classroom to teach.
“I enjoy seeing students reach their potential and realize that they can make a difference,” says Sanders. “I want to shape their minds, so they can go on and do great things and provide some clarity on the issues we’re facing in health care.”
In order to achieve this, he challenges students to take off their glasses and put on someone else’s pair so they can see what health care looks like on an individual basis, rather than assuming all people have the same access.
“This is a driving factor for me,” he says. “I want students to figure out for themselves whether health care providers should determine what kind of care you receive.”
In his free time, Sanders, a doctoral candidate in health care administration at Central Michigan University, frequently visits his family in Florida. While on any given plane ride, he can be found working on his dissertation on health literary research. He also has a passion for cultural competency issues.