Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road, BC-71
Boca Raton, FL 33431
As a community-based medical school, FAU Schmidt College of Medicine is committed to addressing the under-representation of minorities in medicine and biomedical research. Collaborating with the School District of Palm Beach County, local organizations, university partners, and faculty, staff, and students, the College of Medicine has built a robust outreach program annually engaging more than 500 students. Our Pathway Programs are structured to recruit and retain under-represented in medicine (URiM) and low socioeconomic status (SES) students into healthcare professions and biomedical research by providing lessons and activities focused on the biological sciences, career exploration, clinical exposure, college preparedness, financial literacy, mentoring, professional soft skills enhancement, and research exposure.
Middle school students enrolled in Medical Academy Choice programs in Palm Beach County travel with their class to FAU for activities at Schmidt College of Medicine Clinical Skills Simulation Center and the College’s Gross Anatomy Lab with the intention of augmenting classroom anatomy and clinical skills lessons and engendering confidence in biological science knowledge. All activities are facilitated by our medical students, staff, and faculty and become more challenging as students progress through the program.
Pathway activities for our high school students build on classroom knowledge and lessons delivered during their middle school field trips to the College’s state-of-the-art training facilities. Additionally, high school students across Palm Beach County are offered opportunities to apply for weekend and afterschool programs focused on supporting students’ efforts to improve their candidacy to college and medical school. Program participants are mentored by medical students and participate in essay writing, resume construction, financial aid, and research workshops.
The Office for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion actively recruits FAU undergraduate students to volunteer at our Pathway Programs activities with the intention of providing these students access to the college’s resources and to highlight the multidisciplinary structure of healthcare teams. University partners in this endeavor include American Medical Student Association, Nursing, and Masters of Social Work students. The office also provides resources and individualized support for undergraduate students as they navigate the healthcare, medical, and biological research education tracks.
The Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Office provides opportunities for our medical students and our community to collaborate through academic service learning, research, and Pathway Programs leadership positions.
The JEDI Office supports the College’s Foundations of Medicine Service Learning Program by connecting second year medical students with community partner organizations. Medical students may choose projects focused on health, wellness, and education of families and children Pre-K through young adult. The course aims to further develop our students’ humanism and professionalism in patient care while enhancing their connection with our community. From 2015 to 2021, 127 medical students served a combined 3,362 hours with 23 JEDI community partners.
First year medical students may apply to be a Pathway Programs Medical Student Leader, and those selected conduct patient simulations, labs, and college prep workshops for our 6th – 12th grade participating students. Responsibilities include creation, coordination and execution of educational enrichment, exposure and access, and mentoring components of our opportunity programs. The leadership role allows medical students to further hone interpersonal, organizational, and communication skills while giving back to young students in our community.
Both Service Learning and Pathway Programs involvement provide opportunities for medical students to engage in research with the community. Building on the relationships developed during Service Learning projects, medical students may conduct original research focused on program efficacy, health disparities, and healthcare inequities. Pathway Programs leaders are well-suited to submit qualitative reviews and descriptive articles of program successes.