Background and objectives: A four-week interdisciplinary pre-matriculation program for Native American and rural medical students was created and its impact on students' transition to medical school was assessed. The program extends the goals of many pre-matriculation programs by aiming to increase not only students' understanding of basic science knowledge, but also to build student self-efficacy through practice with medical school curricular elements while developing their academic support networks. Design: A mixed method evaluation was used to determine whether the goals of the program were achieved (n = 22). Student knowledge gains and retention of the microbiology content were assessed using a microbiology concept inventory. Students participated in focus groups to identify the benefits of participating in the program as well as the key components of the program that benefitted the students. Results: Program participants showed retention of microbiology content and increased confidence about the overall medical school experience after participating in the summer program. Conclusions: By nurturing self-efficacy, participation in a pre-matriculation program supported medical students from Native American and rural backgrounds during their transition to medical school.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
limited number of admitted students are invited to participate in the program. The project was funded by a Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant and the criteria for participation are in accordance with those set forth by the agency (http://bhpr.hrsa.gov/grants/diversity/hcop. htmlwere). Supplemental funds have been provided by the UM MSD Dean’s Office to support the inclusion of students who were deemed academically at-risk (science GPA below 3.6 and/or MCAT below 27), but do not meet the HRSA’s educationally disadvantaged definition. Though the HRSA funding ended after the 2015 program the school saw its value; the 2016 program was funded in part by CAIMH and in part by the UM MSD Dean’s Office, with plans to continue future years. For the first two years, participants included only incoming students; in 2015, we expanded to include students who were repeating first year courses. The program occurs on the UM MSD campus; students receive a living allowance and funds to help cover travel and housing.
Funding to support the overall program came from a Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration Health Careers Opportunity Program grant (#D18HP10618) to University of Minnesota CAIMH, AWK Associate Director. AP received a Herz Faculty Development Scholarship from the University of Minnesota to support the evaluation of the program as part of her participation in the Harvard Macy Program. AW received funding from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program at the University of Minnesota. Brandi Balmer and Garrett Soper facilitated some of the focus groups and provided transcription. Lorentz E. Wittmers, Jr., for providing the impetus and guidance in the development of the program and for always motivating us to move ‘onward’. As well as all of the other UM MSD faculty that contributed to the program.
- Native American
- Under-represented students