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A Novel Web-based Platform Connecting URM Learners with Mentors in Self-identified Areas of Need

Objective: Mentorship is associated with positive outcomes in academic medicine including career choice, productivity and job satisfaction; however quality mentorship is not a resource that is equitably accessed. Research shows that underrepresented minorities in medicine (URM’s) have difficulty finding the affinity-based mentorship they desire.  To solve this problem at our institution, we built a mentorship program to bridge the gap between the benefits of mentorship in academic medicine and the difficulties some URM learners have finding it.  This innovative model could be adapted and shared across institutions.


Methods: Our platform is web-based and helps URM students, residents  and fellows find affinity-based mentorship based on whatever characteristic and in whatever content area they desire. Three criteria were used for mentor selection.  Mentors are eligible to receive credit towards academic promotion for meaningful program participation. Both mentors and mentees receive training to support the relationships and CME credit is available for completion of the mentor training modules. The program structure allows the institution to demonstrate anti-racism, by prioritizing support for URM learners and by reducing the “minority tax” that URM faculty experience.


Results: A diverse group of 100 faculty members representing  17 specialties, 30 subspecialties, 4 racial identities, 3 sexual orientations, 4 native languages, 29 home states, and 4 home countries were recruited to be mentors.  Since program launch in May 2022, faculty mentors claimed CME credit at least 90 times for completion of training modules and at least 15 mentorship relationships have been established as a direct result of the program.


Conclusion/ Discussion: We believe this program would have widespread applicability across academic institutions. Efforts are underway to create a shareable version of this platform so that larger numbers of URM learners across the country can access meaningful mentorship within their own institutions.

Topics: Faculty Development Seminar, 2023, Student, Resident, Faculty, GME, UME,

General Information

Clinical Focus

Author Information

Tera Howard, MD MPH; Odera Okafor, MD candidate

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