The Junior Fellows Program: motivating urban youth toward careers in health, science, and medicine

J Urban Health. 2004 Sep;81(3):516-23. doi: 10.1093/jurban/jth135.


Lack of diversity in the health, science, and medical professions has been documented as a contributor to health disparities in the United States, and early intervention is essential for the recruitment of underrepresented students into the health professions. The Junior Fellows Program, a partnership between the New York Academy of Medicine, New York City public schools, and regional academic medical centers, is designed to stimulate students' interest in health, science, medicine, and research. From seminars designed to advance Junior Fellows' skills in identifying concrete strategies for improving health and preventing illness, to understanding the research process and the nature of scientific inquiry, the program engages Junior Fellows in project-based learning, works to enhance their critical thinking skills, and helps them to foster positive interactions with practicing physicians and health professionals. Surveys of program graduates indicate the program has been influential in creating a high level of motivation to pursue careers related to health, science, and medicine. The program continues to work on enhancing educational opportunities for urban public school students and promoting career awareness for the health professions, with a special emphasis on improving the proportion of minorities and women who enter these fields.

MeSH terms

  • Academies and Institutes
  • Adolescent
  • Career Choice*
  • Health Occupations*
  • Humans
  • New York City
  • Research
  • Science*
  • Urban Population*