alexa Tapping Underserved Students to Reshape the Biomedical Workforce

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Tapping Underserved Students to Reshape the Biomedical Workforce

Low-income and underrepresented minority students remain a largely untapped source of new professionals that are increasingly needed to diversify and strengthen the biomedical workforce. Precollege enrichment programs offer a promising strategy to stop the “leak” in the biomedical pipeline. However, in the era of highly competitive science education funding, there is a lack of consensus about the elements that predict the long-term viability of such programs. In this commentary, the authors review the critical elements that contribute to the long-term viability of university-based precollege biomedical pipeline programs. Successful programs are built on a foundation of responding to local community workforce needs, have access to local universities that provide an organizational home, and offer a direct pipeline to strong undergraduate science training and support for graduate or professional training. Such programs have shown that there are substantial pools of diverse students who can thrive academically when given enrichment opportunities. Replication of pipeline programs with long-term viability will be instrumental in reaching the large numbers of talented underserved students who are needed to diversify and strengthen the biomedical workforce over the coming decades.

Citation: Winkleby MA, Ned J, Crump C (2015) Tapping Underserved Students to Reshape the Biomedical Workforce. J Community Med Health Educ 5:340. doi: 10.4172/2161-0711.1000340

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