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ORIGINAL RESEARCH PAPER
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 55-63

A Social and Academic Enrichment Program Promotes Medical School Matriculation and Graduation for Disadvantaged Students


1 Deceased, Assistant Dean, UNC School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
2 Assistant Professor, UNC School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA

Correspondence Address:
D Hollar
Assistant Professor, UNC School of Medicine, 410 Berryhill Building, CB 7530, Chapel Hill, NC - 27599
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1357-6283.99208

Introduction: This study assessed the impact of a pre-medical pipeline program on successful completion of medical school and the capacity of this program to address achievement gaps experienced by disadvantaged students. The University of North Carolina (USA) Medical Education Development (MED) program provides intensive academic and test skills preparation for admission to medical, dental, and other allied health professions schools. Methods: This retrospective study evaluated the academic progress of a longitudinal sample of 1738 disadvantaged college students who completed MED between 1974 and 2001. Data sources included MED participant data, medical school admissions data for the host school, aggregate data from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), and individual MED participant data from AAMC. Methods of analysis utilized Chi-square, independent samples t test, and logistic regression to examine associations between factors. Results: Of the 935 students in MED from 1974 to 2001, who had indicated an interest in medical school, 887 (94.9%) successfully matriculated and 801 (85.7%) successfully earned the MD degree. Using logistic regression, factors that were significantly correlated with earning the medical degree included the student's race, college undergraduate total and science grade point averages, with Hispanic, African American, and Native American participants earning the medical degree at rates comparable to Caucasian participants. MED students successfully earned the MD degree despite having significantly lower Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) scores and undergraduate grade point averages compared to all United States medical school applicants: MCAT scores had little relationship with student's success. Conclusions: These findings suggest that an intensive, nine-week, pre-medical academic enrichment program that incorporates confidence-building and small-group tutoring and peer support activities can build a foundation on which disadvantaged students can successfully earn matriculation to and graduation from medical school.


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