Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Acad Med. 1999 Apr;74(4):448-51.

Why students drop out of the pipeline to health professions careers: a follow-up of gifted minority high school students.

Author information

Minority Academic Advising Program, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta 30909, USA.



To track gifted underrepresented minority (URM) students who entered the pipeline to health professional school when they were in high school and to determine whether and why students left the pipeline to enter other professions.


A questionnaire was mailed to 162 students who had participated in the Student Educational Enrichment Program (SEEP) in health sciences at the Medical College of Georgia between 1984 and 1991; 123 (75%) responded.


Students in the study population had higher graduation rates than the average state or national student. Fifty-nine (48%) of the students had entered health care careers; 98% had stated that intention when they were in high school. Although some of the students stated trouble with course work and GPA as reasons for their decisions to change career tracks, many students said that their interests in non-medical careers had been fostered by mentors or by opportunities to serve internships.


Early intervention is important to retaining students in a pipeline that leads to a health care career. Summer programs are successful, but may not be enough to help students with difficult science courses in college, especially chemistry. However, another important conclusion is that much more needs to be done to help students find mentors with whom they can develop relationships and to give them opportunities to work in health care settings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
    Loading ...
    Support Center