Think back 10 years. At that time, I was just starting college with the thought of perhaps pursuing a career in medicine. For me, getting mentorship was never a big deal. I had an older brother who was a premed in college, uncles & aunts who were MDs, and a dad who was “in the know”. Guidance came to me whether I wanted it or not. But for many other premeds, there was nobody to tell them what courses to take, what volunteer activities to focus on, or what the MCAT was. To say the least, until recently, mentoring was completely dependent on who you knew personally. If you couldn’t get them on the phone, they probably couldn’t mentor you. In other words, if you wanted guidance on how to become a doctor, you pretty much had to know a doctor. Due to the paucity of minority physicians, increasing diversity in medicine could not be achieved because opportunities to be mentored were extremely limited for underrepresented students. Not smarts, not discipline, not even finances…these were not the true causes of the underrepresented physician problem…it was lack of a solid mentoring community!
BUT!! Yes, there’s always a BUT! Nowadays, in 2012, students are only one click away. Thanks to the internet information is everywhere. So many questions can be answered in one click. Google, yahoo, aol…they’ve all got answers. Still, they lack the focused network.
DiverseMedicine combines information with networking. In other words, information + network= mentoring community. Now, a high school student can have direct access to multiple physicians for mentoring. Questions can be directly answered. This concept is powerful beyond face value. The mentoring gap now has the potential to be lessened and with this, there is hope to increase diversity in health care. In the end, the most important barrier remains….the students must have the desire to seek out guidance and ask for advice. The mentors in this community are here because they want to help! So, to you students out there……..Ask Ask Ask. Your answers are just One Click Away….Ponder that!