Scholars at N.C. A&T Excel Through Community and Academic Partnerships

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (July 9, 2019) – Nothing beats hands-on, real-time experience, especially for prospective medical professionals. Students participating in the Pre-Professional Scholars Program (PPSP) at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University recently gained that experience after completing an academic clinical assistant apprenticeship rotation with the Cone Family Medical Center.

Currently in its second year, the program is a partnership between N.C. A&T and the Cone Family Medical Center for pre-med students. Participants or Academic Clinical Assistants, work with physicians on various patient quality and academic projects ranging from medical question databases for residents to contacting patients for follow-up conversations and treatment plans.

First-year biology graduate student Mesha Guinyard says the program provided invaluable experience.

“Watching how everyone plays a role in improving a patient’s health while getting support for my own aspirations was very moving,” said Guinyard. “This internship with the Cone Health Program has shown me how interdisciplinary the health care field really is, and it excites me to know this is the environment I will be working in when I become a physician.”

During her rotation, Guinyard worked on organizing patient data and shadowed inpatient and outpatient rounds while observing residents.  

“One of the key components for students to get into medical or healthcare programs or medical school is having a realistic idea of what is involved,” said Catherine White, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, pre-health advisor and program director for the PPSP. “Additionally, many programs require shadowing or in-depth experience with physicians and other healthcare providers. This program provides that and fulfills one of the main parts of a student’s application that will be critical for them to be competitive.”

The apprenticeship program is the result of vital relationships the PPSP has developed with community partners to offer students tangible experience. It also helps to solidify student passion, which is crucial for those intent on working in the medical field.

The PPSP is consistently developing pipelines, partnerships and articulation agreements with medical, dentistry, veterinary medicine and law schools for increased access to professional and graduate programs; partnerships with community professional organizations including the Greensboro Medical Society, Old North State Dental Society, Guilford County Black Lawyers Association and Greensboro Area Health Education Center; academic and skills enhancement; student professional development; workforce development (including the academic clinical assistant apprenticeship); and faculty and advisors professional development.

The PPSP currently has programs developed, in development and Memorandums of Understandings (in place, progress, and forthcoming) with East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine and School of Dental Medicine; University of South Carolina School of Medicine-Greenville Medical Experience Academy; UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine; George Washington University School of Medicine; Elon University School of Law; North Carolina Central University School of Law; Campbell The PPSP currently has programs developed, in development and Memorandums of Understandings (in place, progress, and forthcoming) with East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine and School of Dental Medicine; University of South Carolina School of Medicine-Greenville Medical Experience Academy; UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine; George Washington University School of Medicine; Elon University School of Law; North Carolina Central University School of Law; Campbell University School of Law; University of California Davis School of Law; University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and North Carolina State University School of Veterinary Medicine.