our mission & vision accessible pre-health shadowing for all

Diversifying the future of healthcare through accessible shadowing and impactful mentorship

understanding barriers

We can’t efficiently expand access to pre-health shadowing without understanding the shadowing barriers disproportionately impacting students from particular backgrounds.

According to a survey released in our first year, 66% of pre-health students at the University of Florida had NO shadowing experience.

We identified three primary barriers impacting all students from participating in traditional, in-person shadowing:

barrier 1

Lack of knowledge and guidance

71% of survey respondents indicated that a lack of knowledge and guidance prevented them from gaining in-person shadowing experience

barrier 2

Academic obligations

60% of survey respondents indicated that academic obligations prevented them from gaining in-person shadowing experience

barrier 3

Inability to reach a healthcare professional

26% of survey respondents indicated that they were unable to gain in-person shadowing experience due to their inability to successfully get in contact with a healthcare professional

other barriers

Non-academic obligations, transportation issues, wardrobe concerns

Students indicated that non-academic obligations (i.e. caring for family, work), transportation issues, and wardrobe concerns prevented them from gaining in-person shadowing experience

expanding access

Taking into account the barriers impacting pre-health students, Medi-Futures is making an effort to overcome these barriers. How?

  1. Our virtual format allows for an unlimited number of students to be accommodated
  2. Offering both live and recorded shadowing presentations means students can shadow at their convenience – no specific schedule is required
  3. Virtual shadowing does not require any particular transportation or wardrobe
  4. Medi-Futures is provided at no cost to students

In it’s first two years as Medi-Gators, Medi-Futures has successfully provided a shadowing platform for thousands of University of Florida students.

407% increase in pre-health shadowing participation in 1 academic year when compared to in-person shadowing

1,600+ students virtually shadowing at a single institution each semester

8,000+ unique participants since our program began in the Fall of 2020; that’s about 1/3 of the pre-health student population at UF

Diversity, equity, inclusion

The accessibility of Medi-Futures facilitates our ability to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the pre-health pipeline. Our characterization of shadowing barriers included an analysis of race, education background, socio-economic status, and more. The statistics represented below come from both AAMC data as well as data collected by Medi-Futures on University of Florida pre-health students.

According to AAMC data from 2018, the physician workforce is predominately White (56.2%) and male (64.1%), while only 11.2% of the physician workforce in 2018 identified as an underrepresented race (i.e. American-Indian or Alaska Native, Black, Hispanic, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander).

In addition, the AAMC estimates that only 12% of 2021 medical school matriculants were first-generation college students.

PRE-HEALTH STUDENTS WITH NO SHADOWING EXPERIENCE:

underrepresented race

63%

first-generation students

66%

students whose family income <$45,000

66%

MEDI-FUTURES PARTICIPANTS (from the University of Florida)

30% underrepresented races

27% first-generation students

26% pell-grant recipients

79% women

efficient health career exposure

  • Rapid and broad exposure facilitates efficient career selection
    • In a 6-week period, students shadow 36+ healthcare professionals via zoom
    • Our speakers represent more than 27 health careers and 42 medical specialties
  • Rapid exposure:
    • Encourages students to ponder desired qualities in a career
    • Facilitates student selection of a desirable career path sooner, thereby allowing students to focus efforts on pursuit of that career (whether in healthcare or not)
  • Broad exposure improves interdisciplinary collaboration via appreciation for many professionals within our healthcare system
  • Medi-Futures is beneficial for students with uncertain career paths as well as for students with more defined career paths