Posted: April 19, 2013

More than a Pipeline: Developing the Physician Workforce of Tomorrow


The Office of Diversity Affairs (ODA) at the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) has taken a holistic approach to diversity programming that goes beyond the recruitment and retention of underrepresented, nontraditional and disadvantaged students to meet the goal of developing culturally competent physicians. This poster presentation will demonstrate how an institution can align various programs under one strategic plan based around diversity initiatives and the LCME standards. The poster will also highlight the circular process where each of the ODA's programs directly impacts and helps sustain the other programs in a manner that not only targets URM students but includes all medical students. Beginning with the Student Educational Enrichment Program (SEEP) in high school and through college, the Pre-matriculation program for accepted students, the Supplemental Instruction Program (SIP) for matriculated students needing tutoring and the Health Equity and Access Leaders (HEAL) elective course with its mentoring component that brings 1st and 2nd year medical students back into the high schools, the ODA offers both a strong pipeline and opportunity for producing culturally competent physicians.

Beyond presenting information on the ODA programs, the poster will highlight specific outcomes related to the programs and the demographics of the students served. Over the course of the rich 40+ year history of SEEP and Pre-matriculation, the two programs have served 2906 underrepresented, nontraditional and disadvantaged students; guiding approximately 700 students through graduation at GRU and helping over 500 enroll at other health professional schools. With retention of all students as important as recruitment of those with underrepresented backgrounds, the SIP peer tutoring program has served over 3000 students across the university since 1989. The addition of the HEAL course fulfills the ODA mission of developing culturally competent physicians through didactic lectures, the programming board that organizes awareness and educational events in the community as well as the mentoring component that reaches out to local high school students with the goal of encouraging them to pursue a health professional career. In the first year alone, 38 HEAL medical student leaders organized five programs, one fundraiser and mentored over 100 high school students.

The programs also reach out to the regional campuses in various ways, with further expansion on the horizon. Furthermore, faculty and clinical staff from throughout the institution, as well as local physicians, participate in the programs in various ways through teaching, guest lectures, serving as clinical mentors and research advisors. The inclusive approach the ODA has taken shows that diversity is important to all future health care professionals and will be highlighted through reference to the mission and vision of the ODA, strategic planning goals and their links to LCME requirements and future directions. Recruiting URM students is important in order to reflect the patient population, however, recruitment alone is not enough. Retention and training of culturally competent physicians is essential to the development of the physician workforce of tomorrow.


Diversity, Recruitment, Mentoring, Disadvantaged, Pre-Health, Health Careers E-PREP, Cultural Competence, Retention, Pipeline Program, South, Pre-Matriculation, Under-Represented in Medicine, URM, Skill Development, Professional Skills


Kimberly Vess Halbur, EdD, MA, Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University

Alexis L. Rossi, MEd, MA, Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University

Linda S. James, MS, Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University