Table 5

Student Narrative Evaluation Responses Reflecting on Their Experience With the Program

StrengthNarrative responses
 Support from physicians“Just knowing that we have extra support and people that encourage us is really helpful. I have no doctors in my family and sometimes I get lost because I don't know what step to take or just have someone to watch over my step to make sure I'm taking advantage of any opportunities I can. That is a big one for me.”
“[My mentor] helped me with more of my mental awareness issues. This is something people wouldn't expect to come out from the program. However, the college journey has been pretty difficult for me so it was nice and helpful to have someone who has been through it really believe in me.”
 Normalization of physicians“…mentors were a constant part of our lives so the shadowing didn't stop when we left the clinic or Zoom. For [me] or anyone who does not have any physicians in their families, doctors seem kind of foreign, they're just people you see once in a while. For me it was really cool to kind of normalize physicians, learn about their experiences and see who they are when they're not clocked in.”
 Exposure to clinical medicine“I found the overall exposure to medicine extremely helpful. I've been able to make more connections (speakers, my mentor, the other medical students) and gain so much information about different specialties, applying to med school, etc. It's made the whole pre-med experience seem less daunting.”
 Connection with resources and opportunities“My mentor will be writing a letter of recommendation to supplement my medical school application. Also, she and I received funding through the AAN to attend their conference and present our work there.”
Areas for improvements
 Importance of near peer mentoring“If possible, maybe try to find junior mentors that are in their first or second year. Mine was great but she was a fourth year so it was a bit harder to relate to her and she was very busy doing her rotations. She also had forgotten a little bit about the med school application process… Also, I would say to try to get the mentees to get to know each other better…”
 Increase exposure to practical skills“I feel we could do more application-based things, maybe like mock interviews, personal statement help, and how to effectively narrow down a list of medical schools.”
  • Abbreviation: AAN = American Academy of Neurology.