Recognizing the long history of racism in medicine and the need to address racism as a public health crisis, Minnesota’s community of physicians must commit to anti-racist educational, recruitment and clinical practices. One of the areas we know is important in creating a more equitable health system is mentoring students in BIPOC communities, with the goal of increasing diversity in our health care fields.
Studies have shown that patients who are BIPOC receive better care when their medical providers are also BIPOC. Knowing that many pre-medical students, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds, may lack access to physician mentors, Allina Health/United Family Medicine Residency aims to address that barrier by building a mentorship program in partnership with the Minority Association of Pre-medical Students (MAPS) at the University of Minnesota.
In the MAPS-Physician Mentorship Program, our goal is to develop a meaningful, long-term mentorship between pre-med students and physicians.
Mentorship Program Expectations
- Mentors must be willing and able to offer advice about the medical school application and interview process and future educational and career goals.
- Mentor-mentee pairs will uphold the values of mutual respect and cultural humility and work to maintain a safe space for both parties.
- The mentorship will last a minimum of one year. At the end of the year, the mentor-mentee pair may continue their mentorship together, if desired.
- The ongoing time commitment is flexible and will ultimately be left up to the mentor-mentee pair; but, meetings should, ideally, occur every 1-2 months to develop meaningful mentorships. (Virtual or phone meetings are the safest formats at this time.)
The MAPS-Physician Mentorship Program will launch in January 2021. We are beginning the process of registering mentees and mentors now (register below).
Mentorship program Registration
Are you a pre-med student? Register to get paired with a mentor.
Are you a physician? Register to get paired with a mentee.
Although being a physician who is BIPOC is not required, we recognize that students who are BIPOC may prefer mentors who are also BIPOC, and therefore will be intentional in our mentorship pairings. We do require that physician mentors carry the values of anti-racism and cultural humility.
Reach out to Jenny Zhang, MD, at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Author: Jenny Zhang, MD, MAFP Health Equity Task Force member and MAPS-Physician Mentorship Program leader, @jenzhaMD