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Effects of summer internship and follow-up distance mentoring programs on middle and high school student perceptions and interest in health careers.

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Fernandez-Repollet E, Locatis CN, De Jesus-Monge WE, Maisiak R, Lie WL
BMC Med Educ. 2018 May 2;18(1):84. doi: 10.1186/s12909-018-1205-3.
Abstract: 

BACKGROUND

Minorities are underrepresented in health professions and efforts to recruit minority students into health careers are considered a way to reduce health disparities. There is little research about the effectiveness of these programs, other than satisfaction. This study aimed to measure program effects on student understanding of and interest in health careers.

METHODS

Students took a career interest inventory, completed a scale measuring their self-reported understanding and interest in health careers, and wrote essays about health careers before and after completing a 1 week on campus internship on health careers and after a 9 month follow up distance mentoring program where they continued to interact with university faculty by videoconference about career options. Changes in inventory, scale, and essay scores were analyzed for changes over time using Wilcoxon and Mann-Whitney tests.

RESULTS

Inventory scores were unchanged over time, but scale and essay scores trended upward significantly post internship and mentoring.

CONCLUSION

Health career education and mentoring programs can positively affect student knowledge of health careers and their attitudes about them. The study's methods extend measures of program impact beyond satisfaction.

Fernandez-Repollet E, Locatis CN, De Jesus-Monge WE, Maisiak R, Lie WL. Effects of summer internship and follow-up distance mentoring programs on middle and high school student perceptions and interest in health careers. BMC Med Educ. 2018 May 2;18(1):84. doi: 10.1186/s12909-018-1205-3.