Meaningful Patient Care Experiences for Minority Graduate School Students

Kendall M. Campbell, Loni Crumb, Paige E. Averett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Increasing numbers of underrepresented in medicine minority (URMM) physicians has garnered increased attention. Pipeline programs aid this effort and are designed to expose learners to the healthcare experience and strengthen academic preparedness. This paper describes the clinical experiences of students who participated in a bridge to medical school Master's Degree pipeline program at a community based medical school. Methods: Using qualitative methodology, the authors sought to explore the clinical experiences of three cohorts of graduate school pipeline students on a path to medical school. Thirty six master's level students responded to an evaluation of opened-ended questions at the conclusion of their clinical preceptorship. The responses to three open-ended questions were analyzed via the constant comparison analysis method. Results: The total number of clinical encounters during the clinical preceptorship over the three-year period was 633, a total of 144 h. The most common diagnoses seen were related to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Three primary themes were identified regarding students’ experiences in the pipeline program: connecting academic and clinical skills, learning the needs of and how to advocate for underserved patients and the need to increase exposure to underserved patient populations across specialties in medicine. Conclusions: The clinical preceptorship linked academic knowledge with clinical skills and provided an avenue for learning about health disparities and patient advocacy for underserved patients. It also identified a need for increased exposure to underserved patient populations across medical specialties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)521-526
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the National Medical Association
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical preceptorship
  • Graduate students
  • Pipeline programs
  • Underserved care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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