According to the Student National Medical Association, their organization has been “dedicated to helping historically marginalized current and future students” since 1964. Their goal is to increase the number of underrepresented individuals in the health care arena while ultimately addressing the needs of underserved communities. .
“Each year, SNMA hosts the Annual Medical Education Conference (AMEC), and since 2017, the Michigan School of Medicine’s Office for Health Equity and Inclusion has sponsored the conference for students attending this conference. I’m hosting a simulation festival at the University of Michigan School of Medicine, and I’m Vice Chancellor and Vice President for Health Equity and Inclusion.
Dubbed “SiMfest,” this Michigan event includes an interactive clinical station and several hands-on experiences for AMEC students to participate in. Many departments of the hospital will participate and bring simulation equipment to enable future students to guide through clinical simulation of their respective specialties.
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“More than 40 Michigan medical school chairs, faculty, hospital staff and staff attend SiMfest. Michigan is the only school to host such an event and as a result our academic medical A lot of positive impressions have been generated about the center,” said Brown.
According to Brown, SiMfest gives students a chance to imagine working in a medical center alongside faculty and current house officers, giving them a feel for the culture of UM Medical School.
Mission to improve diversity
The idea for SiMfest came after a focus group with a few underrepresented hospital staff in the medical community lacked feedback on diversity.
“We asked them [in the focus groups] Why they chose to come to Michigan Medicine to continue their training. The unanimous response was due to the quality of training at Michigan Medicine and highlighted our excellent patient care. One response after another seemed to revolve around this theme, but few mentioned the diversity of his residency training programs,” he said.
Brown felt that SNMA could host a hands-on simulation event to demonstrate the school’s commitment to education and its dedication to diversity.
The idea started at SiMfest in 2017 to the present day.
Positive and public feedback
Brown and a team of colleagues at OHEI surveyed SiMfest attendees and volunteers about their experiences at the event from 2017 to 2019.for training in [the U-M Medical School]”
Their findings recently Journal of the American Medical Association.
“We were able to collect data from 461 student participants and showed that 83% of those surveyed belonged to racial categories they were historically considered marginalized. ” said co-author of the paper and now director of the House Officers Program within OHEI. “And 91% of those individuals were identified as African American or Black.
Perry adds that an overwhelming 80% of student attendees rated their SiMfest experience positively and said they would recommend it to their peers. Additionally, 73% of the pre-med students and 54% of the medical students surveyed “reported exposure to an area of expertise” they were unfamiliar with before.
“Before attending SiMfest, only 18% of students reported an interest in applying to our facility for the next phase of their medical training,” said Perry. “However, when attending our event, approximately 66% of pre-med students and 63% of his medical students reported a strong interest in applying to UM Medical School. was very amazing to watch.”
Brown said clinical volunteers were also surveyed about their experiences at SiMfest, so their findings weren’t just for student participants.
“We found that SiMfest inspired many (66%) of them to pursue other initiatives focused on diversity, equity and inclusion within their sector.” he said. “This experience broadened the exposure of our chairs and faculty to a large cohort of highly qualified, talented and diverse future physicians.”
According to Perry, half of the departmental representatives surveyed feel that SiMfest has “increased awareness and engagement.” [around] Diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives [Michigan Medicine’s] 72% reported that the event should continue because they felt it was worth the time and effort.
“SiMfest has two advantages, so the whole thing is very important,” she said. “Not only are students within marginalized communities deeply exposed to the clinical environment from our facility, but many of our own white faculty have strong students from our school that we didn’t even know before attending this event. This is also an opportunity to learn, for example, about historically black colleges and other organizations that involve underrepresented students.”
Looking ahead, Brown believes their research will continue to have a significant impact on underrepresented students in the medical field.
“SNMA is the largest gathering of underrepresented non-medical and medical students in one conference, so we see value in attending,” said Brown. “Fortunately, several SiMfest participants were matched by our residency program. Our continued presence at AMEC demonstrates a true commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. And Michigan continues to attract diverse excellence to our medical schools and training programs.”
Cited paper: “Using Clinical Simulation to Create Opportunities to Engage with Historically Marginalized Prospective Trainees” Journal of the American Medical AssociationDOI: 10.1016/j.jnma.2023.01.005