Despite the call by the 2003 Unequal Treatment Report to increase recruitment of people of color as healthcare policymakers, administrators, providers, educators, and students, our family medicine department has struggled to recruit and retain residents and faculty that reflect the diversity of our community.
Racial and ethnic demographics of our patients, faculty, and residents show that asymmetry exists between our patients and clinicians. As our medical school’s entering matriculant classes have 33% under-represented in medicine (URM) students and a majority of our department’s residency faculty have received some of their medical education at our institution, we developed a pathway program to expose URM students to family medicine with the goal of increasing provider diversity. The Enhancing Representation to Improve our Community’s Heath (EnRICH) program provides comprehensive mentorship with advising, shadowing, and networking. URM medical students interested in primary care are matched with mentors who provide longitudinal career and clinical mentorship.
We launched the program in fall 2022. The program will be evaluated by qualitative and quantitative surveys that measure factors like professional identity, self-esteem, and satisfaction.
Future directions include integrating with the medical school’s preceptor curriculum, including undergraduate students, and introducing the pathway format to other departments.
Authors: Morgan White, MD, Estefan Beltran, MD, Thomas Hahn, MD