Booklet Spells Out Medical School Success Steps for Minorities

Spectrum Unlimited of New Orleans, La., published an expanded distribution of a 1996–97 special edition of the Journal for Minority Medical Students called "Keepsake: A Guide for Minority Premed Students," to 3,000 premedical minority students. Lack of timely and accurate information is one impediment to minority students undertaking and completing medical school applications.

The "Keepsake" edition, published annually, addresses this issue by providing information about the application and admissions process to U.S. medical schools and about financial aid resources.

Key Results

The 1996–97 edition used the theme "Dreams Within Reach" and contained articles for both high school students (e.g., "What are the steps to becoming a doctor?") and medical school applicants (e.g., "Top tips for success on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)" and "How to write the winning application").

It included a personal account of the medical school experience by a minority student enrolled in medical school and an interview with a student at a foreign medical school.

There were also resource listings of interest to Native American, Latino, and African-American students.

Spectrum Unlimited typically provides copies of the publication to the minority affairs offices at medical schools and to biomedical programs in undergraduate colleges. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) grant funds were used to expand this distribution by supporting the purchase of the mailing list (with mailing labels) of the Association of American Medical Colleges' Minority Applicant Registry (MED-MAR)—which contains the names of minority students who recently took the MCAT.

Mailing the publication directly to this audience increased distribution of the "Keepsake" edition by 30 percent, from 10,000 to 13,000 copies. Participants in RWJF's Minority Medical Education Program were among the students receiving copies.