Differences in coaching needs among underrepresented minority medical students

Skender Najibi, Patricia A. Carney, Erin Thayer, Nicole Deiorio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Little is known about how the academic coaching needs of medical students differ between those who are racially, ethnically, and socially underrepresented minority (RES-URM) and those who represent the majority. This single-site exploratory study investigated student perceptions and coaching needs associated with a mandatory academic coaching program, and coaches’ understanding of and preparedness to address these potentially differing needs. METHODS: Coaching needs of second- and third-year medical students were assessed using two initial focus groups and two validation focus groups, one consisting of RES-URM students and the other majority medical students. Coaches were assessed using a cross-sectional self-administered survey designed to determine their perceptions of differing coaching needs of students RESULTS: Seven themes emerged from the student focus groups. Three of these reflected the coaching relationship, and four reflected the coaching process. RES-URM students expressed stress around sharing vulnerability that was not expressed among majority students. Sixty-eight percent of coaches expressed that RES-URM students would not have differing needs of their coaches. Coaches self-rated as being somewhat (45%), moderately (29%), or very (13%) skilled at coaching RES-URM students. CONCLUSIONS: RES-URM students cite different coaching needs than majority students that most coaches do not recognize. Faculty and program development regarding these unique needs is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)516-522
Number of pages7
JournalFamily medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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