Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Landscape Analysis of Affinity Groups, Mentoring and Pipeline Programs for Underrepresented Student Identities in Allied Healthcare Professions

To, Leann (2024) Landscape Analysis of Affinity Groups, Mentoring and Pipeline Programs for Underrepresented Student Identities in Allied Healthcare Professions. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Download (630kB) | Preview


Despite numerous calls to increase representation in the healthcare in the United States, there is still a persistent lack of diversity across all health professions (Jackson & Gracia, 2014; Miller & Vaughn, 2023). Individuals that are underrepresented minorities (URMs) often encounter obstacles in both accessing quality education necessary to enter the healthcare field and navigating the workforce during their training and career. This underscores a significant public health issue as it hinders efforts to deliver equitable and culturally competent care, which perpetuates health disparities among minority populations. Examples of such identities are racial/ethnic minorities (REMs), sexual and gender minorities (SGMs), or low socioeconomic status (SES). There have been several diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI) strategies to help URMs enter careers in the health professions. Pipeline programs aim to enhance diversity by recruiting and supporting URMs at the educational level, while affinity groups foster a sense of belonging and support networks within professional settings (Miller & Vaughn, 2023; Patterson & Carline, 2006). Mentorship is another strategy to provide guidance, support, and professional development opportunities for URMs (Atwal et al., 2023). Although there has been widespread recognition of the importance of representation and diversity in healthcare, the existing literature lacks comprehensive evidence-based models to increase the number of URMs into healthcare professional programs and their retention in the workforce. To address this gap, we performed a critical landscape analysis of existing affinity groups, mentoring and pipeline programs. We identified studies using a comprehensive search from the databases Medline, APA PsycInfo, CINAHL, Embase, and Web of Science (1992-2025). A total of sixteen articles were included. Our results provided a description of study aims/objectives, characteristics of mentoring and pipeline programs (training level of students, healthcare training program, population targeted, host program, source of funding and program length), program activities, the experiences of URM students after participation, and the program outcomes (study evaluation method and metrics). By identifying successful strategies and best practices, our research aims to inform current efforts aimed at increasing minority representation and promoting inclusivity in academic environments in the health professions.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
To, Leannlet83@pitt.edulet83
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairVento, Jodieventojm@pitt.eduventojm0000-0002-1413-4785
Committee MemberVonVille, Helenahelenavonville@pitt.eduhelenavonville0000-0001-5193-2391
Committee MemberCarlson, Jennajnc53@pitt.edujnc530000-0001-5483-0833
Committee MemberTakemoto,
Date: 14 May 2024
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 18 April 2024
Approval Date: 14 May 2024
Submission Date: 26 April 2024
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 68
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Genetic Counseling
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: affinity group, allied health, mentoring, mentorship program, pipeline program, diversity, DEIJ, racial and ethnic minorities, health disparities, genetic counseling
Date Deposited: 14 May 2024 18:42
Last Modified: 14 May 2024 18:42


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item