Training Early Achievers for Careers in Health (TEACH)
Research indicates that most high school students are unclear about their occupational futures and have a limited knowledge of the world of work. Although some adolescents have a clear sense about the relationship between educational expectations and occupational aspirations, minority students often lack access to practical experiences and role models to educate them about the professional world. This is especially important given the need to train these students to become physician-scientists, an area where they are underrepresented and lack senior role models and realistic career experiences.
To address this problem, a team of interdisciplinary investigators came together to create a program based on a theory of adolescent career development. This program, Training Early Achievers for Careers in Health (TEACH) Research, aims to prepare and inspire talented Chicago Public Schools high school students to pursue careers in health-related research. Students are recruited from the University of Chicago Collegiate Scholars Program, which is a three-year enrichment program for high achieving and talented Chicago Public Schools students. Directed by Ms. Kim Ransom, this program is designed to prepare the students for academic success at the best colleges and universities.
For more information, please contact Dr. Vineet Arora at email@example.com.
The principal collaborators of the TEACH Research project are:
- Vineet Arora, MD, MA, Instructor of Medicine and Assistant Dean of Curricular Innovation of Pritzker School of Medicine
- David Meltzer, MD, PhD, Associate Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Economics, and Public Policy and Director of CHeSS
- Barbara Schneider, MS, PhD, the John A. Hannah Chair in the College of Education at Michigan State University and the Director of the Data Research and Development Center, and co-director of the Alfred P. Sloan Center on Parents, Children, and Work
This research examines the extent to which exposure a realistic career experience and a multi-tiered structure of mentors can help minority students consider and prepare for medical research. Realistic career experience is provided to these students through research internships on the University of Chicago Hospitalist Project, an ongoing large clinical research project led by Dr. David Meltzer. This study, which began in July of 1997, aimed to evaluate the effects of a new type of physician who specialized in inpatient care (hospitalists). It has since expanded to include studies of a variety of issues in hospital care, such as racial disparities, quality of care for patients with pain, pneumonia, congestive heart failure, gastrointestinal bleeding, and most recently quality of care for hospitalized elders.
Student Mentorship and Coursework
TEACH provides its student participants with an opportunity to work with a multi-tiered team of researchers including faculty, fellows, residents, medical students, and undergraduate students as they participate in a variety of the activities related to the project, including chart abstraction and patient interviews. The students are offered classes on an array of topics that range from “Study Design and Literature Review” to “Cultural Competence and Health Disparities.” They also take part in discussions that are structured to enhance their knowledge on topics that will guide them in the future such as: “Getting into College,” Applying to Medical School,” and “Funding a College Education.” To evaluate the effectiveness of this program, the TEACH Research team is building on prior work of Dr. Barbara Schneider by assessing the formation of “aligned ambitions,” which refers to not only the desire to enter a career, but also the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors to attain a goal.
TEACH Research is supported by a number of national organizations, including the National Institute of General Medical Science/National Institutes of Health (NIGMS/NIH), which awarded a 1.8 million dollar grant to evaluate this program by offering it to over 100 students for the next four years. The program has also received generous support from The Women’s Board of The University of Chicago, the Spencer Foundation, the National Opinion Research Center (NORC), and the McCormick Tribune Foundation.