Medical Education

Mini–Medical School Programs Are an Effective Tool to Introduce Students to Osteopathic Medicine

Kathryn E. Kaye, OMS III; Alyssa L. Berns, OMS IV; Lyndsi R. Cress, OMS IV; and Andrea M. Nazar, DO
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: January 28, 2013

Accepted: August 21, 2013

Published: February 1, 2014

J Osteopath Med; 114(2): 109-112

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.

Objectives: 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.

Methods: The participants — high school students from Charleston, Fairmont, and the Greenbrier Valley in West Virginia — attended an outreach program at West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine’s Clinical Education Center designed to interest them in a career in medicine and specifically osteopathic medicine. A survey was conducted before and after the program to test the program’s effectiveness.

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).

Conclusions: 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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