Tapping Underserved Students to Reshape the Biomedical WorkforceMarilyn A. Winkleby1, Judith Ned1 and Casey Crump2*
- *Corresponding Author:
- Casey Crump, M.D.
Ph.D., Stanford University
211 Quarry Road, Suite 405, MC 5985
Palo Alto, California 94304-1426, USA
Tel: +650 498 9000
Fax: +650 498 7750
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: March 14, 2015 Accepted date: March 28, 2015 Published date: April 02, 2015
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
Copyright: © 2015 Winkleby MA, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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.