Since 2009, Baylor College of Medicine has organized regular Doctors’ Day Outreaches in the greater Houston area. The DDO program sends Baylor faculty, trainees and students from groups underrepresented in medicine to underserved schools in Houston to give them professional role models.
The students meet with the doctors in small groups to ask questions and to hear the doctors share their personal stories about challenges they overcame to be where they are today. Additionally, the doctors talk about how to prepare for college and a career in medicine.
The doctors share information on the disparity in the healthcare workforce and other disparities in healthcare. And, the doctors explain how students need to prepare so they can fill the gap in healthcare.
The goal of the program is to give a tangible example to the students that a career in medicine is attainable to them, since they see someone from their similar background who is currently a practicing physician or medical student. We recruit physicians and medical students from the greater Houston area to participate in the outreaches and spend half a day or more at each participating school. To date, we have visited with more than 3,000 K-12 students in Houston. More than 150 physicians and medical students have volunteered in total, and they report enjoying sharing with the students and hearing their questions. The response has been fantastic from the schools as well, and most have asked that the program be an annual event at their school. See pictures from recent Doctors' Day Outreach events.