Self-Identity: How URiM Students Navigate Between their Academic Career, Culture, and Family
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractPrevious research on medical school experiences for students focuses on how to holistically admit underrepresented students in medicine (URiM) into medical school, but does not clearly understand their experiences once in medical school. The long-term influence of family for URiM students was explored to determine whether the influence of family had an impact on the students' academic success throughout adolescence into their current academic standing within a premedical program. These findings suggest that culture and family within medical education and how they connected to the self-identity is critical to explore. Studies like this one provide insight into how to improve educational outcomes for URiM students. A cohort of 10 URiM students in the Pre-medical Admissions Pathway Program (PMAP) at the University of Arizona participated in semi-structured interviews in fall of 2014 and was followed up the subsequent spring semester. A qualitative research approach was chosen to collect rich descriptive data on the student's experiences that could not be assessed through other forms of research (Dicicco-Bloom & Crabtree, 2006). Each interview lasted one hour and consisted of questions about the students' personal experiences in their education and how these connect to culture and family. The symbolic interaction and attachment theories were used to analyze the experiences shared by the participants. From this framework, coding themes and key terms were identified to better understanding the data gathered. In the preliminary interviews, family was identified as an important factor in being successful academically (even when students identified themselves as their motivation for education) because of the different types of support families offered this cohort of students. This study identifies how URiM students navigate within their academic, cultural, and familial identities and how these tie into their success within medical school.
Degree ProgramHonors College
Family Studies and Human Development