Context: Disparities in the healthcare system persist in society today, affecting both minoritized patients and providers. A diverse healthcare workforce is ideal to treat a patient population that is also becoming increasingly diverse. We examined the experiences of minoritized students pursuing healthcare-related degrees, including athletic training, in pre-medicine and healthcare professions. Methods: We used a phenomenological approach to explore the lived experiences of 10 minoritized pre-medicine and healthcare profession students (age=20±2 years). Participants engaged in an online semi-structured interview (Zoom, San Jose, CA). All interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed. We used a consensual qualitative research (CQR) approach with a 3-person data analysis team and multi-phase coding approach to identify core ideas. The data analysis team established a consensual codebook that was applied to all the transcripts. The consensus codebook’s trustworthiness and credibility were established through member checking, multi-analyst triangulation, and auditing. Results: Three domains were identified regarding minoritized pre-medicine and healthcare profession students relating to their experiences while pursuing their respective graduate degrees, including athletic training (Figure 1): 1) Belonging 2) Relationships 3) Preparation. Minoritized pre-health profession students want to experience more diversity and inclusion in the healthcare system. Feelings of belonging, relationships with others, and prior experiences of preparation help to encourage these students to pursue careers in healthcare, although barriers still exist. Focused professional resources are needed to continue supporting minoritized students in their pre-healthcare programs. Conclusions: Minoritized learners want to see and be represented in healthcare. Colleges and universities must tailor individualized resources to minoritized learners to help increase diversity in the healthcare system.

Author Bio(s)

Ashley M. White, LAT, ATC is an athletic trainer in the collegiate setting in Indiana. She is currently completing her Doctorate in Athletic Training degree at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Lindsey E. Eberman, PhD., LAT, ATC, is a professor and program director in the Doctorate in Athletic Training program at Indiana State University.

Matthew J. Drescher, DAT, LAT, ATC, is a PhD. candidate at Indiana State University.

Justin P. Young, DAT, LAT, ATC, is a graduate assistant and affiliate faculty with the Doctorate in Athletic Training program and Masters of Athletic Training program at Indiana State University and is currently completing his PhD. in Curriculum and Instruction at Indiana State University.

Kenneth E. Games, PhD., LAT, ATC, is a professor in the Doctorate in Athletic Training program and interim dean of the College of Graduate and Professional Studies at Indiana State University.





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