Seeking Physician Mentors for Underrepresented Pre-Med Students

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 and the Minority Association of Pre-medical Students (MAPS) at the University of Minnesota are working together to address that barrier with a mentorship program.

The MAPS-Physician Mentorship Program launched in January 2021, with a goal to develop meaningful, long-term mentorship relationships 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.)

Mentorship program Registration

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.

Questions?

Reach out to Jenny Zhang, MD, at zhang852@umn.edu with any questions.


Author: Jenny Zhang, MD, MAFP Health Equity Task Force member and MAPS-Physician Mentorship Program leader, @jenzhaMD

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