Our goal is to support local underrepresented undergraduate students in the medical school application journey by creating a peer support group that facilitates networking, provides guidance and mentorship, engages in community service, and helps develop the leadership skills critical to becoming a physician. This program seeks to elevate the New Orleans health leaders of tomorrow, and to inspire tomorrow’s health leaders to serve and care for their communities. We hope that this project will positively impact the lives of New Orleanians and foster diversity in medicine.
The New Orleans Health Leaders Project is inspired by the Bronx Community Health Leaders, a program established in New York in 2014 for underrepresented students. Participants in this flagship program were given the title of “Leaders” because of the program’s initiative to become agents of change in their often-marginalized communities. By providing mentoring, leadership opportunities and academic guidance, Bronx Community Health Leaders alumni have successfully matriculated to schools such as NYU, Einstein, and Cornell.
- The program is peer-led with 3 participants serving as coordinators.
- Participants commit to attend a standing weekly meeting. These meetings will provide a space where participants can reflect, learn more about the field of medicine, and develop essential leadership skills.
- Participants commit to a set number of volunteer/community service hours during their year. The goal of this volunteer work is to encourage participants to serve the community. Ideally this will inspire participants to give back by becoming community physicians in the future.
- Must be at least 18 years old
- Must identify with an underrepresented, educationally disadvantaged and/or economically disadvantaged group
- Must demonstrate an interest in pursuing a profession in medicine
- Must demonstrate a commitment to helping underserved populations
- Must be enrolled or have graduated from an undergraduate institution
- Must be willing to volunteer 100 hours over a year, with a minimum of 2 hours a week
Sample monthly meeting structure:
First meeting: MCAT tutoring
Second meeting: A guest community physician shares his or her story, detailing their career path and providing inspiration
Third meeting: Practical activity to assist with applications, such as interview coaching or essay editing
Fourth meeting: One or two participants give a presentation to all participants on a health-related topic, providing the participants with the opportunity to develop vital leadership and presenting skills