Student National Medical Association Mentor Program
The Student National Medical Association (SNMA) Mentor Program is designed to support underrepresented, minority pre-medical students as they pursue their education. The program provides encouragement to future students through relationships with current medical students.
Mentors encourage and guide the participants, showing them important aspects of life in Medical School, and recommend activities that will help them create a competitive application. At the same time, mentees learn about the admissions process, gaining the skills needed for successful matriculation into Medical School.
This program is an initiative of the Student National Medical Association, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Chapter.
Generally, applications are accepted in August or September. The program officially begins with an introductory dinner in October, and continues through the commencement dinner in March or April. Mentors and mentees will be notified of their pairings prior to the dinner and are expected to contact each other beforehand. Early discontinuation of the program is strongly discouraged. However, if mentor or mentee can no longer participate, the remaining party may be paired with an alternative mentor/mentee.
All pre-medical students are eligible to be mentees. However, pre-medical students of African American, Native American, Hispanic/Latino American, Hmong, or another minority heritage are strongly encouraged to participate. Students of sophomore standing and above, as well as those who have graduated, will be given preference. If participants cannot attend the introductory dinner, they will be unable to participate further in the program.
There will be a 1:1 pairing of mentee to mentor to ensure optimal attention is placed on mentees. Both are expected to maintain professional and appropriate relationships.
Mentee and mentors are expected to individually discuss and set goals for the year at the introductory dinner. These goals should include the year’s activities (see below) and a timeframe for completing them. At the end of the mentoring year, surveys will be given to evaluate the success of each relationship. The relationships that demonstrate exceptional rapport, dedication, and overall quality will be awarded for excellence at the commencement dinner.
Possible mentor-mentee activities are divided into three sub-groups. “Required” activities include basic events that all mentees should attend. “Encouraged” activities are designed to give mentees a better understanding of medicine. And “above-and-beyond” activities help mentees develop an exceptional Medical School application.
The list below is not to be considered exhaustive. Mentors may add other events according to his or her own resources.
- Attendance at the introductory dinner (October 27, 2016)
- Attendance at the commencement dinner (March 23, 2017)
- Meet with mentee, in person, at least once a month (email is not acceptable, as it’s too impersonal)
- Invite mentee to Medical School class at least once per semester
- Invite mentee to at least one lunch lecture per semester
- Advise about AMCAS application using personal experience (if applicable)
Encouraged (includes required activities, plus the following):
- Set up a physician shadowing experience for the mentee
- Meet with mentee on a regular basis (2-4 times per month) to study, have coffee, dinner, etc.
- Set up a medically-related volunteer experience
- Proofread essays and personal statement for the AMCAS application (if applicable)
- Conduct a mock Medical School interview for mentee (if applicable)
- Attend SNMA sponsored “Snack Events” during a Friday lunch hour (TBD). (Once a semester)
Above and beyond (includes required activities, plus the following):
- Set up a long-term volunteer experience in a clinic or hospital
- Set up a long-term shadowing experience with a physician
- Help secure an internship that lasts through the summer or semester