MINI GRANT SUCCESS STORY: AOA J0urnal Article Recognizes CHSU ‘Pre-Med Bootcamp’
for Promoting Cultural Competency, Osteopathic Medicine Awareness
The Pre-Med Bootcamp Program of the California Health Sciences University College of Osteopathic Medicine was recognized in an American Osteopathic Association Journal of Osteopathic Medicine article for its success in promoting osteopathic medicine awareness and assisting students in applying for the medical school.
The bootcamp, held in 2019 and the first of five held since then, was supported by a Central Valley Higher Education Consortium Mini-Grant.
The journal article, prepared and submitted by CHSU, also demonstrated prioritization of the medical school’s cultural competency component of the bootcamp, which “is particularly important in medically underserved areas like the Central Valley of California, where patient demographics have disproportionate ethnic minorities,” the article noted.
Published in August, the article illustrated how CHSU presented a “a summer premedical rural enrichment program (PREP) held at an osteopathic medical school located in a medically underserved area (MUA) that fosters greater prioritization of cultural competency in medicine, enhances interest in practicing in rural or underserved areas including the Central Valley of California and increasing familiarity with osteopathic medicine.”
The article also noted that the original purpose of the program held in 2019 was upheld: “students who completed the PREP felt more prepared for the MCAT and medical school.”
Dr. Benjamín Durán, CVHEC executive director, said CHSU “provided the perfect example of how our CVHEC member-institutions can use our mini-grant program to enhance their students’ higher education experience.
“The CHSU Bootcamp in particular was successful because it achieved one of the mini grant objectives – to incentivize basic needs and equity, race and social justice work,” Durán said.
The four-weekend bootcamp was divided into three main categories with sessions that provided the aspiring pre-medical students an opportunity to prepare for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), learn about the medical school application process and experience the medical school environment.
CVHEC’s $6,000 mini-grant helped the students prepare to apply to the CHSU College of Osteopathic Medicine by offsetting course fees so they only had to pay $25 to reserve their seats. The CHSU also used the mini-grant to provide all MCAT prep supplies and instruction, T-shirts, certificates of completion and a catered lunch for the attendees.
“Our local pre-med students greatly benefited from only having to pay $25 for this in-depth Pre-Med Pathway Bootcamp,” said Dr. Kevin Steed, assistant professor of Biomedical Education, at the time. He served as program director with Samuel Kadavakollu, PhD, chair of the Biomedical Education Department and associate professor at CHSU-COM.
The CVHEC Mini-Grants Project, currently funded by the College Futures Foundation, provides awards up to $10,000 each which faculty from consortium member-institutions have creatively used for individual projects that help achieve CVHEC’s strategy of increasing degree attainment rates.
Previous mini-grants have supported assistance and professional learning associated with Guided Pathways, Math Pathways, implementation of Corequisite English and math, course development and advancement of Pathways for Associate Degrees for Transfer.
The 2021 funding cycle also sought to additionally incentivize basic needs and equity, race and social justice work, a key element of the AOA study.
“We hypothesized that educating local premedical students on the importance of cultural competency and recognizing the urgent need for physicians serving their communities will inspire them to pursue medical careers in rural and underserved areas,” the study report said.
The medical school has since hosted four other bootcamps in both virtual and in-person formats, utilizing the CVHEC Mini-Grant for some of them.
Applications for the 2022 CVHEC Mini-Grants funding cycle are available. For more information, contact Angel Ramirez, CVHEC Operations and Finance manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.