How a formalized, medical student-led mentorship program aims to encourage underrepresented minority undergraduate students to pursue medicine

By: Tim Baerg1‡, Ayotomiwa Ojo2, Amelia Bahamonde1, Anjola Onadipe1, Jasmyne Jackson

1 School of Medicine, University of Michigan Health System, 3852 E Medical Center Dr., Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
2 College of Literature Science and the Arts, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, 500 S. State St., Ann Arbor MI 48109, USA

Several studies have shown that academic performance among undergraduate students increases through guided mentorship. For instance, mentored undergraduate students were found to have higher grade point averages (GPAs) and lower dropout rates than their non-mentored counterparts1. Additionally, having a mentor is a predictor of career satisfaction in academic medicine, especially for underrepresented minorities (URMs)2. Mentorship programs targeting URMs interested in medicine show that mentoring across all education levels is necessary to ensure successful medical careers for URMs2. Such a statement is evidenced by the fact that less than half of entering undergraduate students in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields graduate with STEM degrees. This disparity is exaggerated for URM students in STEM fields, with almost three-fourths of minority undergraduate students leaving STEM disciplines before graduation3,4. This point is punctuated at Stanford University, where 46% of URM students who entered college interested in medicine applied to medical school by graduation, compared to 96% of non-URM students4.
Much of the literature on academic mentorship in medicine focuses on the relationship between students and faculty, yet studies examining the dynamics between URM undergraduate students and URM medical students is limited. This is questionable considering that many studies have supported the necessity of mentorship programs, especially for URM students, to increase minority representation and improve URM performance at the undergraduate level2,3. Studies have shown that African American students are more receptive of mentorship when matched with faculty who are ethnically similar.
The Black Undergraduate Medical Association (BUMA) at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor aims to support Black premedical students in their academic journey to medicine, with the ultimate goal of increasing Black representation in the medical field. The Black Medical Association (BMA) at the University of Michigan Medical School has the mission to train culturally competent, ambitious physicians in a rapidly changing medical field and….

 

Editorial Board on EmailEditorial Board on Twitter
Editorial Board
JSNMA is the flagship publication of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA). As the voice of the SNMA, it serves as an educational and outreach tool to upcoming doctors and researchers. Journal topics include medical education, research, health advocacy, career opportunities, cultural competency and community outreach.

Filed Under: Scientific Focus

Tags:

About the Author: JSNMA is the flagship publication of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA). As the voice of the SNMA, it serves as an educational and outreach tool to upcoming doctors and researchers. Journal topics include medical education, research, health advocacy, career opportunities, cultural competency and community outreach.

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.