Panel Discussions

Panel will consist of 5 to 6 individuals currently directing, organizing, running or otherwise involved in pathway programs including as a student or former student. Panels representing multiple institutions will be favored in the selection process. These sessions will allow a panel of experts to answer audience questions about a specific topic. Panel members will introduce themselves briefly including their relevant background and expertise. After introductions a conference moderator will begin asking questions of the panel members before facilitating audience member questions. Please have a single member of the panel complete the submission process. Panels are listed in alphabetical order by title. 

Panel Discussions will be presented Wednesday, October 4 from 4:00 - 5:00 PM EDT and Thursday, October 5 from 3:30 - 4:30 PM EDT.

Panelists: Jasmine Bazinet-Philips - University of Vermont
Steffani Driggins - Claflin University
Laurel Murphy Hoffmann - Oregon Health & Science University
Lauren Roth - Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Our experienced panelists have adapted program structure, curriculum, and language to strive for more inclusive teaching. This panel will provide lessons learned and strategies for future implementation.

Panelists: Kawther Elsouri - Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine- Fort Lauderdale
Vania Arboleda - Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine- Fort Lauderdale
Pierina Barletti - Nova Southeastern University College of Allopathic Medicine- Fort Lauderdale
Lucia Solis - University of Mississippi Medical Center
Kelvin Edokpolo - University of Mississippi Medical Center

Foreign born (FB) and Non-U.S. Citizens (NUC) or Non-Permanent Residents (NPR) medical applicants have unique challenges in their financial burden, academic requirements, and lack of resources as well as advising. As a gateway for upward mobility of FB and NUC/NPR students, bridge and post-baccalaureate (post-bac) programs are uniquely positioned to aid talented students to overcome financial and academic requirements as well as provide an opportunity to strengthen their weaknesses, and provide tailored advising, with the ultimate goal of the student obtaining a seat in medical school.

Our panel aims to discuss the challenges that FB and NUC/NPR students face and must overcome to succeed in both postbacc and medical school programs, with the hope that this discussion will shed light on the benefits of and possible improvements to postbacc/bridge programs. The ASPBP provides a supportive, inclusive community for minority students, like us. We believe that our unique experiences and perspectives will be helpful to ASPBP members who may be students, advisors, or teachers.

Highly talented FB and NUC/NPR applicants face many unique challenges in gaining admission and matriculating through medical school. In particular, students may lack the proper resources, require professional development in soft skills, and experience academic or social biases. Post-bac and bridge programs serve as crucial entryways for FB and NUC/NPR into medical school by providing a strong academic foundation. Therefore, it is incumbent upon these programs, as keystones for these students’ journeys, to provide tailored and informed advising and teaching.

While the panelists of this roundtable discussion session come from different backgrounds, they are united in the challenges they face as underrepresented minority students. The rationale for this panel is to bring awareness of the benefits of post-bac/bridge programs based on personal experiences and advocate for their usefulness to FB and NUC/NPR students and to the physician shortage. In addition, the panelists will discuss the unique challenges they have faced and continue to face with the hope that post-bac/bridge programs can make informed changes that help in advising and teaching of current and future students.

Although there are easily identified challenges FB and NUC/NPR students face, there are many less understood obstacles. Since their families are located in other countries, these students often do not have support systems that understand their respective cultures, familial responsibilities, financial burdens, or pressures for success. While other student associations provide great resources for pre-medical students, our panel addresses how post-bac/bridge programs can be significantly beneficial to FB and NUC/NPR students’ academic success.

Key Words: Post-Bacc, Pre-Med, Inclusive Teaching

Panelists: Desiree Shapiro - University of California, San Diego
Alicia Barnes - University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Heidi Banh - University of California, San Diego
Brandon Newsome - Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Patrice Malone - Columbia
Allen Mara - High Tech High Chula Vista

During this panel, there will be a dialogue about the experiences of leaders and participants of psychiatry specific pathway programs and initiatives. These pathway programs and experiences promote social equity by providing opportunities for individuals who may otherwise be excluded from the medical profession due to systemic barriers. These programs create a more inclusive and representative healthcare workforce, which, in turn, leads to better patient outcomes and a more equitable healthcare system overall. We need to collaborate, brainstorm, and create opportunities to increase our mental health workforce.

Pathway programs and initiatives are necessary to foster diversity, increase access, address workforce shortages, and promote social equity within the field of medicine. Even one time programs can create opportunities to draw students into the field to increase diversity and representation. By creating more diverse healthcare professionals, pathway programs help address healthcare disparities and ensure culturally responsivity or all patients. These programs create a more inclusive and representative healthcare workforce, which, in turn, leads to better patient outcomes and a more equitable healthcare system overall.

This panel will include 3-4 faculty from different institutions who have engaged in encouraging early exposure to psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry. We will also welcome 2-3 student scholars who have participated in programming. Given the mental health crisis our country is facing, we need to explore ways to meet the individual and community mental health needs of our population. Offering inclusive learning opportunities, mental health related training experiences, and community engagement allows for individuals from all training levels to appreciate the relevance of mental health and career opportunities.

This panel is essential in bringing together psychiatry leaders and learners to better understand and promote workforce development in medicine. By dialoguing with program and initiative leaders as well as scholars in these programs and initiatives, we will be better prepared for future action. Through this panel, we will address various engagement points including high school, college, medical student, and graduate medical training. Learning how to enhance psychiatry related pathway programs help facilitate access to medical education for individuals who may face barriers such as financial constraints, limited educational opportunities, or lack of mentorship.

There are countless barriers that remain in terms of recruitment, effort, time, curricula development, resources, and the cumulative opportunity gap. The rationale for the panel is to bring together medical educators passionate about health equity, workforce development, and collaboration. We are hoping to explore ways to increase exposure to psychiatry and build community outreach and education into existing programs in place. In our panel, the focus will be on mental health; however, the principles can be applied to any field of medicine.

Key Words: Pre-Med, Inclusive Teaching, Other

Panelists: Jacqueline Ekeoba - University of Houston
James Grogan - Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
Suzan Kamel-ElSayed - Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
Liliana Martinez - Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin

Experienced educators of secondary-level student programming share their insights on what the post-secondary students of tomorrow are experiencing today. This panel aims to encourage collaborative efforts across all educational levels and prepare educators for anticipating the needs of their future students.

Panelists: Joe Willner - Western Michigan University Homer Stryker MD School of Medicine
Lucas Bezerra - Western Michigan University Homer Stryker MD School of Medicine
William Prieto - Western Michigan University Homer Stryker MD School of Medicine
Leon Figueroa - Western Michigan University Homer Stryker MD School of Medicine
Daniela Pinto - Western Michigan University Homer Stryker MD School of Medicine
Wilo Issack - Western Michigan University Homer Stryker MD School of Medicine
Laura Bauler - Western Michigan University Homer Stryker MD School of Medicine

Prospective medical students find different ways to boost their resume including research, shadowing, volunteering, and leadership opportunities prior to applying to medical school. Despite their efforts, many students do not matriculate into medical school immediately after completing their undergraduate degree. For students with lower grade point averages, MCAT test scores, or who desire more focused course work in the biological sciences before entering medical school, another option for students is pursuit of a post-baccalaureate program to boost their chances of matriculating in the next application cycle.

Currently, the Association of American Medical Colleges post-baccalaureate database has 319 programs, more than double the number of accredited MD schools (154). Like medical schools, each post-baccalaureate program offers a unique curriculum, goals for graduates, and subsequent graduate outcomes. Some programs offer direct admittance to medical school, while others guarantee graduates an interview. Some are degree-granting, while others are certificate programs.

The following aspects should be considered: 1) The curriculum should prepare you for medical school. This enables admission committees to ensure that the student can handle the rigors of a medical curriculum. 2) A program that invests in their students. The program should ensure their graduates will be successful in medical school outside of the curriculum. 3) Unique attributes that make the program attractive. Benefits like direct admission, guaranteed interviews or program funding make programs more desirable. 4) A program that undergoes continuous improvement. It is important to incorporate alumni experiences and outcomes to improve the program for future students.

Prospective post-baccalaureate students may feel overwhelmed when navigating this stage of their application. This panel discussion will be a place for post-baccalaureate program graduates to provide perspective on program aspects they found to be beneficial in supporting their admission to and success in medical school.

This panel discussion, with current medical students who have taken the pathway program route, provides perspective for students who may have questions or concerns. Participants will gain a better understanding of what attributes to look for in a post-baccalaureate program and will be able to ask questions to help navigate the decision to enroll in the best post-baccalaureate program to fit their academic and career goals.

Key Words: Post-Bacc, Pre-Med, Undergraduate Students

Panelists: Tatyana Dunn - Boston University Chobanian and Avedisian School of Medicine
Christina Jefferson - Boston University Chobanian and Avedisian School of Medicine
Sydni Britton - Boston University Chobanian and Avedisian School of Medicine
Ndili Cook - Boston University Chobanian and Avedisian School of Medicine
Cyerra Cruise - Boston University Chobanian and Avedisian School of Medicine
Kayleen Lau - Boston University Chobanian and Avedisian School of Medicine
Zuri Williams - SUNY Upstate Medical School

For decades the number of students under-represented in medicine (URiMs) who have been accepted into medical school has remained stagnant. Although there are programs to increase the number of URiMs accepted into medical school, there has not been significant progress in percentages as according to AAMC, URiM’s make up 8% of all medical students. There is still work to be done to recruit and accept URMs into medical school. This discussion is intended to have an open dialogue around the academic, social, and financial difficulties that could pose challenges for URiMs.

ASPBP’s goal is to bring to light opportunities for students to pursue medical training.  Pathway programs are one of the most effective means by which URMs can pursue a career in medicine. Our panel consists of URiM students from multiple institutions, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs), pathway programs, or those who have already matriculated into medical school. This discussion will elucidate the pathway, obstacles, and barriers of the medical school application and matriculation process with the goal of educating people on the URiM student experience.

URiMs face structural, systemic, and personal challenges that most non-URiMs can not even fathom with regard to becoming a competitive applicant to apply into medical school. Pathway programs designed for minorities are often a foundational bridge that allows students the resources needed to succeed in not only premedical years, but in medical school as well. Addressing the need for these programs, spreading awareness, and most importantly finding ways to improve these programs through personal experience is imperative in order to diversify the world of medicine, not only for the students, but for those they will serve.

URiM’s face academic challenges at the start of their education as they often come from communities with underfunded school systems that lack adequate resources. Students face financial difficulties preparing for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) as preparation resources for this exam are often very costly. Even when URiMs can overcome these challenges and get into medical school, there are not many classmates they can seek community in. This social component of not belonging fuels imposters syndrome. This discussion provides insight on how essential pathway programs are, opening conversation around the academic, financial, and social challenges URiM’s faces.

Although there is research and literature on the lack of URiMs in medical school and a stagnation of URiM percentages despite schools implementing interventional methods to increase them, the narratives of URiMs actual experiences are scarce. This panel serves to address and discuss the academic, social, and financial difficulties underrepresented populations in medicine face, specifically in the realm of pathway and special masters programs. We hope to answer in our own words and experiences the commonly posed question that are left at the end of research: why have these interventions not been effective in increasing URiM populations?

Key Words: Post-Bacc, Pre-Med, Other