learn Winner / 2021
Together We Succeed
“Together We Succeed” (TWS) will empower Latinx and other underrepresented in medicine pre-health professions community college students to excel in their transition to a four-year undergraduate program. TWS will provide mentorship from pre-health professions students and health professionals from similar backgrounds and paths to build a community of support. TWS students will gain the knowledge, skills, behaviors and networks that will propel them on an actionable path to applying successfully to health professions schools.
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- Central LA
- East LA
- San Fernando Valley
- South LA
- South Bay
What is the problem that you are seeking to address?
Latinx’s comprise over 40% of California’s population, yet only 5% of the overall physician population and 12% of graduating physicians in the state. At this rate, it will take 500 years for the proportion of Latinx physicians to match their proportion in the population. Similar disparities exist for Black/African American populations in California. The lack of diversity in the physician workforce contributes to worse outcomes for patients and perceived lesser quality of care. Over one-third of Latinx students who attend college start at a community college. In the Los Angeles County Community College District which comprises nine colleges and 229,793 students, 72.3% of the students are from underrepresented in medicine (UIM) backgrounds. In order to effectively address the lack of physician workforce diversity, it is critical to properly engage and mentor Latinx and other UIM students while they are at community colleges.
Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.
“Together We Succeed” (TWS) will be modeled after our existing “Medical School Readiness” series, a longitudinal 12 month program with monthly workshops, small group sessions, and longitudinal one-on-one mentorship to successfully assist underrepresented in medicine (UIM) students to navigate the medical school application process. Similarly, TWS will empower UIM community college (cc) students aspiring to a health professions career with the confidence, knowledge, skills and behaviors needed to successfully transition to a four-year institution. TWS will provide UIM speakers to instruct on how to navigate the transition to a four-year institution. TWS will also provide a community of support that can validate the experiences of students who are first-generation college-goers or DACA students with mentors who have successfully navigated similar paths. Lastly, TWS will provide small group sessions and one on one mentorship to support students in their journeys. TWS students will develop an actionable plan that aligns with their personal mission. TWS students will eventually rely on the broader MiMentor community for support and further leadership development and personal growth.
In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?Expand existing project, program, or initiative (expanding and continuing ongoing, successful work)
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?
- Direct impact
- Indirect impact
Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.
Together We Succeed would help fill a needed gap in mentorship and leadership development for those pre-health professional Latinx and other UIM students attending Los Angeles Community College District, where a majority of Latinx and Black college-going students reside. TWS would help increase the success of these students in their transition to four-year institutions by increasing transfer rates, academic success and eventual four-year institution graduation rates. TWS would also increase these students’ awareness of viable pathways to health professional careers as well as their pursuit and persistence in those pathways. Finally, TWS would increase the leadership skills of community college pre-health professional students so that they can contribute not only by mentoring other students, but also by participating in relevant pre-health professional activities in their respective Los Angeles County communities where they can make an immediate impact.
What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?
TWS will be modeled after MiMentor’s MSR program, which has existed for five years. Our MSR team collects extensive demographic data on our participants, pre-and post-surveys on their confidence, level of support, written, verbal skills development as well as qualitative feedback on personal and pre-professional development and leadership skills. We also collect quantitative data on applications submitted to medical school, interviews and admissions offered. An abstract presented on MSR in 2017 at UCLA showed significant unadjusted bivariate self-reported outcomes on pre- and post-surveys as well as an acceptance rate to medical school of 55%, 10% above the overall national acceptance rate. A more recent analysis of our 2018-2019 cohort revealed an acceptance rate of over 90% for those who applied. We are confident that utilizing similar teams, operations and culturally relevant curriculum will allow us to implement similar analytical tools and achieve positive outcomes for TWS.
Which of the learn metrics will you impact?
- College graduates
- Community college completion
Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.
- LA is the best place to CREATE
- LA is the best place to CONNECT