Dr. Caitlin Hoffman, the diversity and inclusion champion in the department of neurological surgery, has been named a faculty winner of the Dean’s Diversity and Healthcare Disparity Research Awards for her work with the PrIMES mentorship program she co-founded in 2018. The $50,000 grant will allow the program to develop technology to automate data collection and analysis as well as expand to serve additional populations and meet additional needs.
PrIMES (Program for Individualized Mentorship Education Solutions) is a longitudinal, targeted, data-driven mentorship program pairing pre-medical student mentees from groups under-represented in medicine (URiM ) with current medical student or resident mentors. The curriculum was designed via quantitative analyses of focus groups and interviews of URiM students and families regarding perceived barriers and challenges to meeting the Association of American Medical College (AAMC) application benchmarks.
In the program’s first year, PrIMES mentors paired with 11 local freshman and sophomore college students, increasing their preparedness for successful application and matriculation into medical school by an average 23 percent. In its second year PrIMES supported 41 URiM college students and also engineered tracking tools and data frameworks to facilitate longitudinal analysis of outcomes and metrics, individualization of the curriculum, and application to peer institutions. For year 3, PrIMES will use the Dean’s Diversity and Healthcare Disparity Research Award to support the program’s continued expansion, including the creation of a PrIMES high school curriculum, support of the PrIMES Wardrobe Fund and Mentee Hardship Fund, and expansion throughout all academic institutions in New York City.
The Dean’s Diversity and Healthcare Disparity Research Awards support excellence in research to improve the health of women and underrepresented minorities and/or to reduce health disparities in healthcare systems and in clinical settings. The awards are designed to further Weill Cornell Medicine’s goal of national leadership in advancing diversity, inclusion, and gender equity within academic medicine.