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One America - Minority Pathways to the Health Professions

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One America

Program: Minority Pathways to the Health Professions, Fort Worth, Texas
Contact(s): Robert L. Kaman, Director of Special School Programs, Office of Multicultural Affairs: (817)735-2670
Purpose: To foster an interest in medicine and research among minority students
Background Program Operations Outcomes


Minority Pathways to the Health Professions (MPHP) was established in 1982 by the Health Science Center (HSC), at the University of North Texas, to stimulate interest among minorities in pursuing careers in medicine and the health professions. MPHP has developed programs for K-12 students, as well as college and graduate students, to increase the number of racially diverse individuals entering the talent pool for such careers. MPHP programs are coordinated by Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of North Texas.

Program Operations

Since 1982, under the Adopt-A-School Program, MPHP has provided mentorships and preceptorship experiences to high school students through six-week rotations during the school year and through eight-week sessions during the summer. The program, which includes a total of seven schools, provides mentoring by HSC students and faculty, an introduction to careers in the biomedical and health sciences, visits to the HSC campus, presentations by graduate and medical students, participation in CPR training, access to science and health fairs, and "real time" experience in HSC clinics and laboratories. The Adopt-A-School Program also operates in elementary and middle schools through Junior Medic and Junior Doctors clubs. The Student Teacher Applied Research Training Program (START) offers up to eight weeks of participation in focused research projects for students from the Adopt-A-School Program. START participants prepare a written report of their research at the end of the session. The Summer Multicultural Advanced Research Training Program (SMART) is a ten-week enhancement program for college students that provides similar research opportunities, while continuing to build upon the students' interest in health professions. The Health Careers Opportunity Program and the Bridges to the Doctoral Degree Program enhance opportunities for securing admission to medical school or to a doctoral program in the health sciences.

Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments

Since 1982, there have been measurable changes in the number of minority students applying to, and being accepted by, HSC programs. By 1998, the minority enrollment at the HSC graduate schools reached 20 percent of the total student population, and the medical school enrollment maintained a slightly lower level. The Adopt-A-School Program has expanded from one high school to seven, with a corresponding increase in the number of elementary and middle schools. In 1996, the HSC received the National Merit Award from the National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals.

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