The Future of Pre-Medical Preparation Summit
The Future of Pre-Medical Preparation Summit, hosted by The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and The Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation on June 15–16, 2014, brought together a cross section of national leaders to discuss their shared goal of advancing the social mission of medicine by enhancing the education of health professionals.
The Summit took a novel approach to furthering the national discourse on pre-medical education by inviting undergraduate science educators, pre-health advisors, medical school admissions deans, leaders of innovative curricular programs, leaders of post baccalaureate programs and leaders of successful pipeline programs and diversity initiatives to participate in brainstorming sessions. Experts in all of these disciplines agree that the current model of preparing students for medical school is outdated, excludes many talented students (especially minority students and women) from the profession, and inhibits the type of learning and creativity we need to advance clinical care, science, and public health.
Over the course of two days the participants presented discipline-specific perspectives on exemplars in their field and barriers to their success. They then worked in mixed-discipline small groups to identify current challenges in premedical preparation and brainstorm on short term practical solutions and long term visionary goals to address those issues. The interdisciplinary groups presented these proposals to the gathering for critical feedback. In an effort to disseminate this work and sustain a climate of innovation, the group will write and publish a policy paper on pre-medical preparation; select partner institutions who were not represented at the Summit with whom to collaborate on pilot projects; present this interdisciplinary model of professional collaboration at regional and national meetings; and turn this Summit into an annual event for an expanding group of participants.
The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has a proven record of exploring novel approaches to pre-medical preparation. It is our hope that this Summit will spark continued discussion of the need for change, as well as serve as a call to action to like-minded institutions, resulting in the improved education of our future healthcare workforce and ultimately, the improved health of our society.