2021 Sal Martino Legacy Grant for DEI Research Recipient

Ohio University

Promoting Professional Association Leadership through Career Mentoring for Early-Career Under-Represented Minority Physicians

Primary Investigator: Rosellen Roche, Associate Professor of Primary Care; Public Health and Community Medicine

Abstract: The Physician Diversity Scholars (PDS) Program at Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine is an innovative program which serves to connect under-represented minority medical students with minority physician mentors established in the local medical community and in associations serving minority physicians across America. Through this program, medical students have the opportunity to learn from experienced physicians about how to be leaders in the clinical setting, the community and to gain skills and information regarding prominent associations. The PDS program engages the students in a variety of skill sets but promotes mentoring through one-to-one information sharing. Through the PDS curriculum, many physician mentors encourage their young mentees to become engaged in a variety of civic and non-profit organizations. They themselves are often leaders of these associations, outside of their roles as physicians. This unique brand of leadership is novel to both minority and physician communities. As this is not taught in the formal medical school curriculum, these physicians developed these leadership skills both individually on their own, and together, by forming unofficial, innovative mentoring networks. The transference of this knowledge to the next generation of leaders is the primary focus of this investigation. The first objective is to characterize the experiences of these physician-leaders as it pertains to association management and the development of their leadership skills. The second objective is to articulate the mechanism by which this understanding is transferred from mentors to mentees. Through a Grounded Theory-styled analysis,1 we hope to develop a pedagogical model describing how minority physician leaders can be guided to the skills necessary to excel in association leadership. Once this model is described, it can be replicated on a larger scale to impact programs across the country in order to promote diversity among association leadership, specifically from under-represented minority physician leaders.