What’s a good idea for creating a more diversity in medical education? Well, according to Susan E. Skochelak, MD, MPH, some med schools have figured it out.
She shared three schools and the unique medical programs they’ve implemented for more diverse-learning styles in med schools. They offer ways for students to provide care to the underserved, the underprivileged and other groups most students never get to treat in regular programs.
Could this become widespread?
Diversity in Medical Education: These 3 Programs Are Getting It Right
Medical schools across the country have made unique strides to break the barriers related to diversity in the industry. Dr. Skochelak shares info about three programs designed to help students learn in more diverse environments than programs of the past.
Can more diversity in medical education help create better doctors?
Read on to find out!
1. Changing the Way Medical Schools View GPAs & MCAT Scores
Well, according to Morehouse School of Medicine, accepting applicants with low entrance scores into medical school is key.
On paper, these aspiring doctors may not look like desirable med students, in part due to low MCAT scores. But that doesn’t mean they won’t make excellent physicians someday.
According to a VP for the AMA’s Medical Education, Susan E. Skochelak, MD, MPH:
“Students work in teams to ensure academic success. Administration tracks student performance and offers additional support to students who would benefit from targeted improvement. As a result, Morehouse students do very well on the USMLE exams.”
What does this mean?
In other words, even those with low MCAT scores can go on to get high USMLE scores with the right networks and support systems.
And of course… that initial chance! #Diversity
2. Serving Local Underserved Patients in Their Homes
Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine launched a program called NeighborhoodHELP.
It focuses on learning and training to become physicians using interprofessional teams. Medical students from various disciplines work together as trainees offering care in household-centered environments.
The teams provide medical care to patients in Miami-Dade County’s underserved communities. This allows them to serve the local area where needed most.
And because they care for most of the patients in their homes, they also learn how to provide quality healthcare to a group generally not seen in clinical environments.
This prepares for clinical work in many different environments, allowing them to adequately care for groups generally considered “hard to handle.” #Diversity
3. Working with Disadvantaged Patients within the Local Community
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine promotes patient navigation. According to Dr. Skochelak, patient navigation is:
“…the practice of allowing medical students to help disadvantaged patients receive the care they need in a complex health system.”
The program is for first-year medical students. They work in the local community health center where they are paired with refugee families just arriving in the area.
Dr. Skochelak says the program gives students opportunities to experience a different side of the healthcare system… the side of the patients and families.
This allows them to understand what’s happening in the community around them. In other words, they become greater impacts on the community through listening to and coordinating services for the patients they go out to help. #Diversity