Dreams Realized: A Long-Term Program Evaluation of Three Summer Diversity Pipeline Programs

Cara Stephenson-Hunter, A. Hal Strelnick, Natalia Rodriguez, Luciana A. Stumpf, Hope Spano, Cristina M. Gonzalez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: Pipeline programs are a well-known approach to enhancing health care workforce diversity and reducing health disparities. Few evaluations of pipeline programs include long-term outcome; fewer still, if any explore perceptions of students after completing such programs, to elucidate factors that contribute to successful entry into the health professions. The authors conducted a program evaluation of three summer diversity pipeline programs in the Bronx, NY, investigating both long-term outcomes and participants' hindsight perspectives of the impact of these programs on their career trajectories. Methods: Investigators conducted a cross-sectional, long-term, mixed-methods survey study. The primary and secondary outcomes for the quantitative analysis were matriculation into biomedical programs to pursue MD or PhD degrees and Master's degrees, respectively, and associated demographic factors. Free-text questions explored the most valuable and influential components of the programs; responses were analyzed qualitatively. Results: Of 147 respondents, 107 (73%) were on-track or had entered a doctoral or master's program, achieving either the primary or secondary outcomes, respectively. Components cited as most valuable included clinical experience, mentorship, career exposure, and research opportunities. Three themes were identified from the free-text responses: (1) Dreams realized; (2) Professional identity formation; and (3) Addressing systemic inequities. Conclusions: These three pipeline programs achieved career outcomes similar to published data. Participants' insights highlight the value of relationships, direct exposure to the health professions, and the importance of such programs to address systemic barriers faced. Results can inform criteria both for participant selection, as well as benchmarks used to define individual and programmatic success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)512-520
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Equity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1 2021


  • URM students
  • diversity programs
  • health workforce
  • pipeline programs
  • premedical students
  • social cognitive theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Information Management


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