Kaye KE, Berns AL, Cress LR, Nazar AM. Mini–Medical School Programs Are an Effective Tool to Introduce Students to Osteopathic Medicine. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2014;114(2):109–112. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2014.024.
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Context: Mini–medical school programs are designed to give participants, usually high school students, a more realistic perception of medicine and to leave students with a stronger desire to pursue a career in medicine.
Objective: To determine if the annual High School Mini–Medical School program hosted by the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine increased interest in osteopathic medicine among high school students.
Design: A survey was conducted before and after the program to test the program's effectiveness.
Setting: West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine's Clinical Education Center.
Participants: High school students from Charleston, Fairmont, and the Greenbrier Valley in West Virginia.
Interventions: The participants attended an outreach program designed to interest them in a career in medicine and specifically osteopathic medicine.
Results: Sixty-nine participants came away with an improved understanding of a physician's life and medical school after the program. There was a mean increase in positive responses for the survey items “I understand what medical school life is truly like” (P=.0066) and “I understand what life as a doctor is really like” (P=.0004). Participants left the program with a stronger desire to pursue a career in medicine (P<.0001).
Conclusion: Mini–medical school programs are an effective tool to inspire high school students to pursue careers in medicine, including osteopathic medicine.
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