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Projects with Promise

Vol. 25 No. 1

Medical Students as Mentors of Latinx Youth: A Model for Increasing Cultural Competence and Community Engagement in Medical Schools

March 26, 2020


The rapid growth of the U.S. Latinx population has led to an increased need for community organizations and academic institutions to develop partnerships focused on addressing gaps in health maintenance and education of Latinx individuals. Medical schools also have a responsibility to educate future physicians in delivering culturally sensitive care through community-oriented learning experiences. This case study approach outlines the logistics of establishing a youth mentoring program between a medical school and a Latinx community and demonstrates the benefits to the institution, medical students, and the population served. We also discuss the challenges arising from this partnership and present early program evaluation data showing consistent mentor satisfaction reported over time. This description of the development of this program provides a framework for creating similar initiatives in medical education to address known disparities in health and well-being of Latinx individuals and other minority populations.