Empowering Students Through a Faculty -Student Mentorship Program

Brenda Davidson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Introduction: Diversity and cultural competence in osteopathic medical education are critical to both student success and healthcare delivery in rural, marginalized, and underserved communities. The study assesses an intervention designed to develop a diverse and culturally informed workforce through a faculty-student mentorship program. A 40-hour faculty workshop was administered at a leading college of osteopathic medicine. Seventeen presentations delivered 40 hours of content to ten faculty participants over four months. The primary aim of this research is to evaluate the effectiveness of a Faculty Mentorship Program in enhancing academic success and diversity among students in osteopathic medical education. The secondary objective is to assess how this mentorship program influenced participating students' intent to practice in rural and medically underserved areas. Honoring the mission of our College of Osteopathic Medicine, we hypothesize that program participants demonstrate greater cultural awareness and interest in working in rural and underserved communities.

Methods: This study employed a mixed-methods design, utilizing surveys and follow-up interviews to gather comprehensive data. The research was conducted at a US-based College of Osteopathic Medicine. Participants included 10 faculty members and 24 students, all of whom expressed an interest in mentorship. The intervention involved a 40-hour faculty mentorship workshop administered over four months. Following the workshop, each of the ten faculty participants was assigned two to three student mentees, resulting in a total of 24 participating students. The main outcome measures assessed were an increased connection to the field of medicine and the expressed intent to serve in rural and underserved medical practice areas.

Results: Initial findings suggest that student participants feel a greater connection to the importance of practicing medicine in rural and medically underserved communities. This presentation will disseminate lessons learned from mentorship program participants.

Conclusion: Initial findings from this study indicate a positive impact of the Faculty Mentorship Program on academic success and the enhancement of cultural competencies among both faculty and students. The program effectively raises awareness of the benefits associated with future osteopathic physicians practicing in rural and underserved areas. These findings signal a positive course for mentorship programs in osteopathic medical colleges, establishing a solid foundation for further exploration of this study. Emphasizing the transformative power of faculty mentorship in cultivating a diverse and culturally competent medical workforce, our research evaluates the specific outcomes of the Faculty Mentorship Program, focusing on its ability to enhance cultural competencies among underrepresented faculty and students. The program not only facilitates an increased intent to serve in rural and medically underserved areas but also underscores the importance of well-designed mentorship initiatives in fostering diversity and cultural competence. Participants acknowledge that this sense of belonging significantly strengthens their connection to the practice of medicine and their commitment to serving in culturally diverse and underserved practice areas.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 16 Feb 2024
Externally publishedYes
Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Research Week 2024
- Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, Tulsa, United States
Duration: 13 Feb 202417 Feb 2024


Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Research Week 2024
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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