Mentoring in medicine, founded by Dr. Lynne Holden, is a non-profit organization aimed at changing the face of medicine by assisting premedical/prehealth students who belong to historically underrepresented ethnic groups in medicine, or those who are socioeconomically disadvantaged. They do this through a number of programs including physician shadowing, MCAT prep courses, community service opportunities, letters of recommendation and much more. I went through one of these programs and scored in the 97th percentile on the MCAT. This article will discuss one of their programs which I had the opportunity to be a part of, called the Medical Pathway Program. In short, we shall be discussing the MCAT preparatory course, the medical school application assistance, and the physician shadowing/volunteering, and finally the cost of this program (quite low!).
The Medical Pathway Program (MPP) is an intensive preparatory medical school boot-camp. The main component of the program is a 20-week Saturday MCAT Kaplan MCAT prep course that run between May-August and is based at Lehman College, Bronx, NY. It is a Godsend. With this course comes knowledgeable instructors, the full set of Kaplan textbooks, online MCAT content videos, and all the practice you could ever need. What do I mean by this? All question sets mimic test-day settings to a T, and there are question sets at the end of each chapter, as well as passage-based chapter exams for most chapters. There is a plethora of full-length practice exams made by Kaplan, in addition to practice exams and questions directly from AAMC at no additional cost. The class begins at 8 and ends at 1pm. After class, you meet with a guest speaker, who may be a physician, a medical student, a speech professional, but more generally someone who is there to impart valuable knowledge onto you. Program participants also form study groups that meet twice a week, either in person, or on skype. You will make life-long friends in this program.
In terms of applying to medical school, this program has got you covered. The program mentors will help program participants in crafting an amazing personal and disadvantaged statement. After you have submitted your application, you are encouraged to meet with one of the mentors to help prepare you for interviews. The main mentor in this process is Dr. Irwin Dannis, a physician who is committed to helping minorities in their medical school application process. Now let me tell you, it is just so comforting to know that a professional in the field is helping you with one of the most important tasks in your life.
In order to strengthen your application, you will be exposed to life in a busy emergency department as a volunteer and MD shadow, as well as have the opportunity to serve the community in NYC. You choose your own schedule! The 150 hours of MD shadowing is done at Montefiore Medical Center Moses Division, where you will shadow either Dr. Lynne Holden, founder of Mentoring in Medicine, or another physician in the emergency room. One will also complete 100 hours as a Community Health Ambassador (CHAMP). Participants will perform health-related community service (like walk-a-thons, cancer fundraisers, etc), participate in empowerment seminars that feature healthcare experts and network with other students and professionals, including alumni of the MIM program. One may also apply to these programs individually.
So how much does all of this cost you might ask? 1,500 USD (compare to the Kaplan in-person prep course at 2299, payment plans available). A significant fraction of the normal price for the same course, with the additional guidance from physicians in the medical school application process, personal statements, interviews, and volunteer opportunities, it really is the best option for a minority trying to fight their way into medical school! However, don’t just take my word for it, 86% of all applicants who went through MPP have matriculated into medical school.