Introduction: Diversity in healthcare can improve access to healthcare for racial/ethnic minorities. However, barriers such as lack of educational opportunities have hindered URiM (underrepresented in medicine) students from matriculation to medical school. Enrichment programs such as STEP UP Medicine seek to break down these barriers. It provides its participants with MCAT preparation, advising, medical skills sessions, clinical shadowing experiences, and networking opportunities. Thus, the goal of this project is to assess if this program is effective in improving the medical school matriculation rates of URiM students.
Methods: Data was collected through a self-administered online survey using Google forms. The link was sent via email and text messages to past participants from 2015-2020.
Obtaining Primary Outcomes: The survey gathered information including race, year of participation, number of medical schools applied to, accepted, and medical school matriculation.
Obtaining Secondary Outcomes: For non-matriculated participants, further questions assessed their current career plans.
Results: Findings demonstrated that 38 of 86 participants completed the survey; 65.8% of respondents applied to medical school, 60% of applicants matriculated into medical school (with 12% of applicants enrolled at SKMC). Of the 40% of applicants that did not matriculate, various reasons included current involvement in the 2020 application cycle, choosing other professions, and pursuing other postgraduate programs.
Conclusion: While STEP UP Medicine is a small program and the survey did not have a high participation rate, the program was effective in increasing URiM matriculants into medical school. According to the AAMC, 39.9% of Black and Hispanic applicants matriculated into medical school, whereas STEP UP Medicine had a matriculation rate of 60%. Diversity in medical providers is important and allows all types of patients to develop better patient-physician relationships that can improve one’s health outcome.
Amoako, Jessica and Trice, MD, Traci, "Effectiveness of Enrichment Programs such as STEP UP in Increasing the Matriculation of URiM Students to Medical Schools" (2021). Phase 1. Paper 23.