Clin Teach 2018 10 14;15(5):370-376. Epub 2017 Aug 14.
General Medicine Disciplines, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA.
Background: Although the proportion of ethnicities representing under-represented minorities in medicine (URM) in the general population has significantly increased, URM enrolment in medical schools within the USA has remained stagnant in recent years.
Methods: This study sought to examine the effect of an immersion in community medicine (ICM) programme on secondary school students' desire to enter the field of medicine and serve their communities. The authors asked all 69 ICM alumni to complete a 14-question survey consisting of six demographic, four programme and four career questions, rated on a Likert scale of 1 (completely disagree) to 5 (completely agree), coupled with optional free-text questions. Data were analysed using GraphPad prism and nvivo software.
Results: A total of 61 students responded, representing a response rate of 88.4 per cent, with a majority of respondents (73.7%) from URM backgrounds. An overwhelming majority of students agreed (with a Likert rating of 4 or 5) that the ICM programme increased their interest in becoming a physician (n = 56, 91.8%). Students reported shadowing patient-student-physician interactions to be the most useful (n = 60, 98.4%), and indicated that they felt that they would be more likely to lead to serving the local community as part of their future careers (n = 52, 85.3%). Of the students that were eligible to apply to medical school (n = 13), a majority (n = 11, 84.6%) have applied to medical school. URM enrolment in medical schools within the USA has remained stagnant in recent years DISCUSSION: Use of a community medicine immersion programme may help encourage secondary students from URM backgrounds to gain the confidence to pursue a career in medicine and serve their communities. Further examination of these programmes may yield novel insights into recruiting URM students to medicine.