SRF012: Closing The Gap: The Individual, Community, and Professional Benefits of Medical Students Serving as Mentors
Bradley Kruithoff, BS, OMS-II; Joel Manzi, BA, BS; Rosellen Roche, MD, PhD, FHEA
Context: The rationale for this study is to uncover the educational benefit of formal mentorship experience on pre-clinical medical students. With an ever-growing demand for primary care physicians, it is important for rising primary care physicians to be enthusiastic and educated in the principles of formal mentorship. In this study, pre-clinical medical students participated in Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Aspiring DOctors program, where medical students formally mentor high school students from underserved communities in the greater Cleveland area. The vast majority of medical student participants self-designated themselves as committed to pursuing careers in primary care. Objective: The primary objective of this study is to understand medical student perceptions of being a mentor and deduce the value-added contributions of formal mentorship experience on their medical education. Study Design: A series of semi-structured research interviews were conducted with the medical student participants regarding their experience in the program. These interviews were transcribed and then inductively coded to search for major themes. Setting or Dataset: This study is community-based as it involves medical students mentoring and working with high school students from the local community in an underserved area. Population Studied: The population studied consists of 12 medical students who participated in the Aspiring DOctors mentorship program for at least 3 semesters during their pre-clinical years. Results: Major themes that emerged from analysis include: connection and advocacy within the local community, increased satisfaction with current coursework, identification of future career goals. Conclusions: Overall, medical student mentors found this program to be a valuable addition to their educational experience. Mentoring high school students offers pre-clinical medical students the opportunity to connect with their community and envision themselves serving as physicians in under-resourced communities.