January 24, 2023 | Glendale, AZ
Traditionally, jobs within STEM and healthcare related fields have been predominantly occupied by men. It wasn’t until 2019 that the percentage of female medical students crested over 50% to make them the majority for the first time ever. While this positive increase is a step in the right direction, women are still vastly under-represented in many healthcare and science fields and undergraduate students are left wondering what the next steps are, such as how to choose a particular healthcare career, how to balance school and life responsibilities, and how to optimize their graduate school application. To help more women navigate their way to a fulfilling career, Midwestern University, in partnership with Arizona State University, Grand Canyon University, Estrella Mountain Community College, and Maricopa County Community Colleges, has developed the Women in Medicine and Science (WIMS) Mentorship Program.
In total, 178 Midwestern University students have volunteered to be mentors for the 2022-2023 school year, and more than 153 undergraduate students signed up across the various colleges and universities to receive one-on-one mentorship. A kick-off reception event was held on November 2 to introduce the mentors to their mentees, during which participants heard from a panel of MWU faculty, including Lori Kemper, D.O., Dean, Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine; Carla Gartrell, D.V.M., J.D., Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine; Elizabeth Hull, Ph.D., Program Director, Biomedical Sciences, College of Graduate Studies; and Monica Ravula, Assistant Professor, College of Dental Medicine – Arizona. The faculty spoke about their experiences as women in medicine and science, and answered questions from the undergraduate students such as how they chose their particular career, what struggles they face, and how to get involved in research opportunities.
Over the course of the school year, the MWU mentors will connect with their undergraduate mentee monthly, online or in-person, to discuss many different topics including the admissions process, how to choose a specific field, shadowing opportunities, tips on professionalism and interviewing, and graduate admissions test taking. An on-campus event in March will bring them all together again in person to participate in several hands-on lab activities with MWU faculty and students to explore the University’s 28 programs and help identify what career path is right for each of them
The goal of this program is not just to provide these students with the resources they need to be successful when applying to a health professions graduate school, but to help them develop the confidence, clarity, and skills to succeed in whatever career path they choose.