Early Medical Education Readiness Interventions: Enhancing Undergraduate Preparedness

Early Medical Education Readiness Interventions: Enhancing Undergraduate Preparedness

Amber J. Heck, Courtney E. Cross, Veronica Y. Tatum
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1468-9.ch015
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Medical educators have long debated how to address one pivotal question: Which students will succeed in medical school? Traditionally, the approach to guaranteeing success in undergraduate medical education focused heavily on a rigorous admissions process. While student selection processes have evolved over time, so have the multiple categories of interventions to prepare students for success in medical school. These interventions are most often aimed at enhancing either academic or emotional preparedness in future or current students and are perhaps best described as early medical education readiness interventions. This chapter organizes these programs into the three overarching categories of preadmissions, prematriculation, and postmatriculation interventions, and will discuss the history and current landscape of each of these categories in detail. Further, the authors make recommendations for medical school administrators and directors of such programs to consider when designing their institutional approach to early medical education readiness interventions.
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In order to address these issues, medical schools offer a variety of interventions, which are aimed at enhancing either academic or emotional preparedness in future or current students. The authors organize these programs into three categories: Preadmissions, prematriculation, and postmatriculation interventions. Preadmissions programs serve to bolster a student’s preparedness prior to the medical school application process. Prematriculation interventions include orientation programs and prematriculation courses (PMCs), which are delivered to accepted students prior to matriculation into the academic program. Postmatriculation interventions are delivered during the UME curriculum and preemptively target content and characteristics known to, or believed to, affect medical school readiness.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Metacognition: An awareness or analysis of one's own learning or thinking processes.

Pipeline Program: A program that serves to recruit and retain a diverse group of students by providing multifactorial support to enhance readiness.

Prematriculation: Existing or occurring prior to matriculation.

At-Risk: The condition of a student who is less likely to reach established measures of competency in academics as compared to their peers.

Noncognitive Skills: Skills related to motivation, integrity, and interpersonal interaction.

Attrition: The loss of students through non-completion of a medical program.

Mindset: A student’s belief about their own academic abilities.

Academic Preparation: A proactive and developmental approach that focuses on personal and professional growth for all students, regardless of academic risk or performance, by developing life-long learning skills.

Cognitive Skills: Skills related to thinking, learning, reasoning, and memory.

Preadmission: Existing or occurring prior to admission.

Postmatriculation: Existing or occurring after matriculation.

Self-Directed Learning: The process by which individuals implement learning practices based on self-identified learning needs.

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