Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Don Good

Committee Members

Jill Channing, David Linville, James Lampley


The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore pre-medical advisors’ perceptions on their role in the pathway to medicine for students historically underrepresented in medicine (URiM) and to gain insight into barriers these students face. While a small amount of research exists on the perspective of URiM pre-medical students on the pathway to medicine, no analysis has been conducted on the role pre-medical advisors play. The underlying framework of this research study focused on the experience of advisors through the lens of academic advising approaches, self-authorship theory, and capital theory to make a strong collective framework to begin understanding the role of advising in the pathway.

Data were gathered through interviews using a non-random purposeful sampling strategy. Study participants were pre-medical advisors at undergraduate institutions in the SAAHP. Participants discussed their role in the pre-medical pathway for URiM students, advising approaches they employ, and their advising experience.

Key themes emerged during data analysis. Advisors tend to approach their student encounters as individual experiences but draw from a variety of advising approaches. URiM students experiences a variety of barriers but most frequently encounter financial barriers, academic challenges, and concerns over lack of belonging. Advisors face a variety of challenges in addressing barriers faced by URiM students. Advisors indicated that early intervention for academic support, collaboration with others tangential to the process, and more visibility for URiM students were approaches that would help retain URiM students on the path to medicine. There is perceived value in utilizing the role of pre-medical advisors as a method of support to keep URiM students moving forward as they can both an advocate for their success and help them navigate the challenge of being a pre-medical student.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.