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Initial Results of An E-Mail Based Mentorship Platform for DREAM Summer Research Fellowship Recipients

J Pollard-Larkin1*, S Avery2 , J Ogburn3 , (1) MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, (2) UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA, Sicklerville, NJ, (3) AAPM, Bowie, MD


(Sunday, 7/14/2019)  

Room: ePoster Forums

Purpose: To offer mentorship advice to DREAM summer fellowship recipients prior, during and after the completion of their 10-week DREAM research experience. The goal is to provide consistent encouragement for the students to pursue Medical Physics in graduate school from a diverse group of medical physicists.

Methods: 5 undergraduate recipients of the DREAM (AAPM’s Diversity Recruitment through Education and Mentoring) program were paired with a mentor from the AAPM Diversity and Inclusion subcommittee (WMRSC). In addition, the DREAM summer research advisors for these students were paired with a member of the WMRSC to have as a liaison throughout the process to ensure that both the DREAM students and their advisors had any issues addressed early. The main method of communication was via email. Students and advisors were emailed at least 3 times throughout the summer by the WMRSC email liaisons. The WMRSC liaisons emailed questionnaires and used that to identify issues that needed follow-up via email or phone calls.

Results: All 10 DREAM recipients and research advisors found the e-mail based platform to be useful in improving their experience and each fully in the program and responded to all emails and questionnaires.

Conclusion: Studies have shown students benefit greatly from having mentors from similar diverse backgrounds. Therefore, we offered such mentorship electronically. Notably, previous DREAM recipients mentioned issues with finding housing and understanding the full scope of their research project. We believe this led to some not pursuing Medical Physics for graduate study. This 2018 cohort of DREAM recipients had none of those issues. We anticipate getting even more positive feedback as we keep in touch with the students as they apply to graduate school and begin their Medical Physics careers. This e-mail mentorship platform could be housed within the AAPM website and made available to all junior members.


Not Applicable / None Entered.


Not Applicable / None Entered.

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