PRP135: Perceptions of the medical school environment among Racially, Ethnically, and Socially Underrepresented Minority (RES-URM)

Cirila Estela Vasquez Guzman


Context: Underrepresented Minorities (URM) medical students have consistently reported lower levels of satisfaction with their medical school environment compared to their white peers. Despite the many benefits of diversifying the student population in medical, little is known about how to systematically support diverse medical students and how to create an inclusive environment for racially, ethnically, and socially underrepresented minorities (RES-URM). Objective: To assess RES-URM and non-RES-URM medical students’ perception of their holistic medical school environment. Study Design: A quasi-experimental mixed methods observational study will be conducted. The quantitative component will include a survey that includes validated variables from the John Hopkins Learning Environment Scale (JHLES) and the Medical School Diversity Climate survey. Analyses will include ordered logistic regression (OLS) and instrumental variable regression analysis using STATA. The qualitative component will include four focus groups that use semi-structured interview guides adapted from a study conducted at the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine (Factors Supporting Student’s Success). Grounded theory analysis using NVivo will be used for qualitative analyses. Setting: A large academic-medical school in the Pacific northwest region. Population Studied: All medical students will be invited to complete the survey and participate in one of four focus groups: RES-URM first and second year students, RES-URM third and fourth year students, non-RES-URM first and second year students, and, finally, non-RES-URM third and fourth year students. Outcome Measures: Key variables will include: Peer-Relationships, Faculty-Relationships, Academic/Curriculum, Meaningful Engagement, Mentoring/Coaching, Inclusion and Safety, Physical Safety, Racial Climate, Witness Discrimination, Negative Role Modeling and Experience Mistreatment. Results: Anticipated results will include the extent that RES-URM and non-RES-URM medical students experience the same medical school environment differently for each outcome variable. Conclusion: Women, ethnic minorities, and students from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds remain under-represented. This study will inform medical schools of ways to better support RES-URM medical students during their medical school experience as well as to provide a better understanding of diverse perceptions regarding the holistic medical school environment.

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