Einstein Enrichment Program

The mission of the Einstein Enrichment Program (EEP) at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine is to serve students in grades 7-12 who are economically disadvantaged or have been historically underrepresented in the medical and scientific professions. EEP’s components include academic enrichment as well as hands-on experiences such as ambulance bay prep and paid summer internships. To qualify, students must demonstrate high academic performance, good attendance, and an interest in pursuing a career in health, medicine, or science. EEP is part of the Science Technology Entry Program, or STEP, a New York State-funded enrichment initiative.

MUSC-Claflin University Pipeline Program

This pilot program between The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and Claflin University, South Carolina’s oldest historically Black institution, introduces underrepresented undergraduates to the physician assistant (PA) career path. MUSC students create mentoring relationships with Claflin students interested in pursuing this discipline, with the ultimate objective of increasing the number of underrepresented candidates for admission. The yearlong experience unlocks some of the mysteries of graduate school applications, allows participants to explore career opportunities in the field, and connects them with PAs of color.

Innovative Strategies for Diversity Hiring

Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine (LSU Vet Med) participates in the university’s Opportunity Hire program that incentivizes schools to hire two faculty members if they are the top candidates for a single position and one is underrepresented. According to the American Association of Veterinary Medical College’s latest annual report, LSU Vet Med has the most racially diverse faculty of all 32 veterinary schools in the country. The school hired an African American woman director of admissions in 2017 and promoted her to assistant dean in 2020, which led to the admissions committee taking on new initiatives and objectives under her leadership. These included organized recruitment efforts at historically Black institutions and national conferences where underrepresented students seek career opportunities.

Dr. Pete’s Pre-Medical Summer Internship Program

The Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences established Dr. Pete’s Pre-Medical Summer Internship program in June 2021 to target young people who are underrepresented in the medical profession. The program allows pre-medical students to observe physicians and learn about diverse specialties in osteopathic medicine. Participants are able to develop the interpersonal skills necessary for future career success, build professional relationships in the medical community, and learn how to best serve disadvantaged populations. The program provides teachable moments to understand vulnerable patient populations that rely on community clinics for health care, and it gives students a boost to their medical school applications.

Diversity Enrichment Project

The Diversity Enrichment Project at the University of Cincinnati College of Allied Health Sciences (UC CAHS) offers underrepresented undergraduates enrolled in allied health programs at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) a seminar series and an opportunity to visit UC’s campus for Welcome Weekend. The event includes awareness and cultural immersion-related activities as well as guided mentorship and counseling opportunities. The project’s overall goal is to increase diverse student enrollment, retention, and persistence in UC CAHS graduate programs. HBCUs Wilberforce University and Central State University have participated for the past five years, with UC CAHS admitting students from both institutions.

Holistic Admissions Process

The University of Cincinnati College of Nursing has extensive recruitment efforts to increase the number of underrepresented and first-generation nursing students. It has adopted a holistic admissions review process and created several comprehensive education pipeline programs targeting students from middle school to graduate education that are aimed at recruiting, retaining, and graduating a diverse nursing workforce. For the 2020-2021 school year, 48 percent of applicants for the bachelor of science in nursing program who were accepted under the holistic admissions review process would not have received an offer had the college looked at quantitative data alone.

Summer Pathways Programs

The Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine offers multiple pathways programs to increase the number of underrepresented students who pursue medicine. Opportunities for local high school students and undergraduates nationwide include the Minority Students in Health Careers Motivation Program, MCAT Prep Program, and Students Training in Research. The Medical Scholars Program, another offering, provides underrepresented students the opportunity for in-lab research, clinical shadowing, exposure to medical school-based curriculum, portfolio reviews, and mentorship.

Summer Medical Leadership Program

The Summer Medical Leadership Program (SMLP) is a new and innovative initiative at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. The SMLP’s primary goal is to expose students from disadvantaged backgrounds to the “real world of medicine” to prepare them not only for medical school but for future leadership positions in the health care and biomedical fields. SMLP is an intensive six-week residential program for 30 undergraduate students who are underrepresented or underserved. Participants are chosen from a nationwide pool of applicants.

Success Through Recruitment/Retention Advocacy Mentorship

The University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Nursing’s Success Through Recruitment/Retention Advocacy Mentorship (STREAM) program recruits, retains, and graduates Native American nurses, faculty, and leaders. STREAM’s mission is to reduce the shortage of Indigenous professionals in the nursing workforce, especially in Native American and tribal communities. STREAM uses high-touch engagement strategies in the school’s undergraduate and graduate programs. Activities include culturally relevant academic success plans and monthly talking circles for peer support. Each STREAM student is paired with a Native American nurse mentor and participates in the school’s annual Native Nations Nursing Summit.

This article was published in our December 2021 issue.