Brief Reports

A Hospitalist mentoring program to sustain interest in healthcare careers in under‐represented minority undergraduates

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Ethnic minorities in the United States have decreased access to healthcare and disproportionately high morbidity and mortality. There has been minimal growth in the number of minority physicians despite their important role in reducing health disparities. Under‐represented minority (URM) undergraduate students are 50% less likely to maintain interest in medical careers.

METHODS

Denver Health and the University of Colorado, Denver enrolled URM students interested in healthcare careers in a year‐long, comprehensive program called the Healthcare Interest Program (HIP) that included pairing each student with a hospitalist for mentoring and job shadowing. At the end of the first year of HIP, students were surveyed, and 2 years later they were contacted for follow‐up.

RESULTS

Twenty‐three students enrolled and all completed the program. Nineteen (83%) completed the survey and all “strongly agreed” that participating in HIP expanded their perceptions of what they might accomplish and increased their confidence in their ability to participate in a healthcare profession. Two‐year follow‐up was available for 21 students (91%). Twenty (95%) remained committed to a career in healthcare, 18 (86%) had graduated, and 6 (29%) were enrolled in postgraduate healthcare training.

CONCLUSION

The interest of undergraduate minority prehealth students in healthcare careers may be maintained by participation in a multifaceted, year‐long mentoring program such as HIP. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2014;9:586–589. © 2014 Society of Hospital Medicine

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