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How a Great Idea and an STFM Fellowship Empowered Underserved Children to Pursue Health Care Careers

Renee Crichlow, MD,

Renee Crichlow, MD,

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

My parents always asked me this. I learned later that this was about creating a vision and expectation of the future.

Now I am Dr Renee Crichlow, a family physician working and teaching family medicine in underserved North Minneapolis, and I ask every child I see, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Many answer doctor or nurse and yet in the medical school and the residency applications I rarely saw any kids from the neighborhood. My co-worker Shailey Prasad, MD, MPH, and I knew this was a complex problem not to be solved overnight.

We decided with the support of our department chair, Mac Baird, MD, MS, to build The Ladder, a structured health care pipeline mentorship program that incorporates hands-on science fun with values and character development designed to facilitate the development of lifelong learners and leaders interested in health care careers.

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