When training to be a physician, it's important to learn about patient diversity. You will often be tasked with explaining medical procedures to people who might not have the same background or knowledge as you, so you will need to know how to educate and understand the population at large. This can be made harder or easier, depending on where you choose to go to medical school.
The population diversity of North Dakota is going to be vastly different than the population diversity of New York. If you are training and planning to work in the same general area, that might not be a problem, but the experiences from medical school might not translate well to another geographic location. However, you can take steps in order to ensure that you have the background necessary to work in a variety of locations and with a variety of patients.
1. Take Language Classes: You might only know English, your patient might only know Spanish. This is a problem that can be solved with extra education. Look into taking foreign language classes, learning dominant languages that are present in both the local geography and the wider United States. If you are planning to move to an area that has another dominant language, prepare yourself beforehand.
2. Research The Areas: Look at the cultural diversity of the medical schools you're considering. Will they prepare you for your larger career? Can they offer the education necessary to understand the variety of patients you'll encounter? And look at the areas you're planning to move to when you go into practice. Are you prepared for the diversity of patients you'll be treating? If not, are there educational opportunities to fill the gap in your knowledge?
If you are more prepared for the patients you'll be treating, you can provide a better medical experience for all involved. Don't let a cultural barrier negatively impact your ability to treat patients. Train yourself, seek out new educational opportunities, and immerse yourself in the geographic area you're in. It will be a beneficial experience.