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The company connects students and healthcare professionals who can help them with their career
For someone who is in pre-med and wants go to medical or PA school, they need to do something called shadowing, in which they have to follow a doctor around and learn from their experiences. Theoretically, it should be their schools and universities which help them do that, as well as other things to help them advance in their schooling and careers, such as filling out applications and creating their resumes.
While many schools do have career resource centers and advising centers, there are big gaps in those departments.
"These centers are not interactive, they're underutilized; I spoke with over 20 schools and it was always same thing, that career resource centers are underutilized, and these are top colleges as well," said Rodeline Joseph, founder and CEO of Medsembly, a mentorship-driven career prep app that connects aspiring healthcare students directly to healthcare professionals.
As a result, many students get their information from other sources, such as social media sites like Tik Tok, Instagram, and YouTube.
"Whether it's medical school, PA school, training is going to prepare you for the actual medicine, but it's never really going to prepare you for what's in store for actually taking care of a patient; it's going to be years and years of practice, but one of the main things is going to be that mentorship," said Joseph.
"It's having somebody in your corner or having a group of people in your corner, to turn to when needed to know, “what do I do with this patient? I have this difficult case,” or, “how do I prevent burnout? How do I do this when this comes my way?” There's so much in medicine to learn, and that's what we're doing."
That's why she created Medsembly, to offer just that to prospective students; on Thursday, the Atlanta-based company came out of beta, with a new look, and new features to help students connect with mentors who can help answer their questions and guide them in their careers.
Creating long-term relationships
With Medsembly, students sign up for free and complete an onboarding process, in which they answer questions about what they need help with; that could be anything from general advise, career advice, help with their application, or help with their resumes. Students can choose as many of these "tasks," as Medsembly calls them, as they need and, from that, they're shown a directory of professionals who they can connect with and message. Users also have access to a medical community via chat boards, where they can ask questions, engage in discussions, and post educational videos.
Mentors can accept a request and initiate the process, and then can track the progress of the task; they receive 50 percent commission on paid tasks, which they have two weeks to complete.
The idea is to create long-term, meaningful relationships between students and mentors, Joseph explained, one that can last long into their careers.
"We don't want it to be just a one time thing; we want to build lifelong relationships, and have the students have a mentor for life, from the minute that they decide they want to get into healthcare," she said.
"They're able to build connections with these professionals, and they can request specific tasks to get help with, such as getting their resume reviewed, getting their essay from grad school reviewed, doing a mock interview for a job or grad school. They can request help with specific things from their mentors."
The best mentor, she explained, is typically someone who is one or two steps ahead of the person they are mentoring; so, for example, if someone is applying to medical school, a mentor would be someone that already got into medical school and can help the person with their application. If they already in medical school, then a mentor would be an actual doctor, preferably a resident who is on the same career path.
The company began operations earlier this year and has been downloaded over 900 times so far, with more than 300 monthly active users; the ROI for students, Joseph said, is that they get a lot more clarity around the process, and being able to put down that they have a mentor also helps with their application to medical school.
"Definitely our differentiating factor, our value prop, is our professionals and that we are focusing on students. We realize the importance and how critical it is to really nurture these students early on, and how that's really going to impact the outcome, especially for schools," she explained.
"That is why we choose to focus on students and we bring them the professionals, because, as I said, that is our true value proposition because they have all that knowledge and insight."
Medsembly is also currently in the process of partnering with schools, who can provide it as a tool for their students; it's in conversation with many schools, and has secured a pilot with one top university so far.
Going beyond healthcare
Medsembly is just getting started, but Joseph already has a bigger vision for where she wants to take the company both within the healthcare space, and beyond.
First, she wants to eventually convert mentees into mentors as they progress along their careers, so the company will always have them as users, but the company is also looking into helping its users find a job through healthcare staffing resources. This is especially important as the healthcare space faces a looming shortage due, in part, to mass retirements brought on by the pandemic.
"A lot of these students do need jobs to get into their healthcare programs, they need jobs to be more competitive, and a lot of them post that they're looking for jobs in various fields, especially healthcare type jobs, but they're more entry level," she explained.
On top of that also wants to start earlier by going into high school career and job fairs, helping younger people get interested in a job in medicine.
Eventually, though, she sees Medsembly as a platform that can be expanded to include jobs outside the healthcare field, something that she admits is still a number of years away but is already on her mind.
"I'm focusing on the top career tracks and top college majors; it's business, then healthcare is the second most common, then there's a big teacher problem. Teachers are understaffed right now, there is a teacher shortage, so I want to focus on helping them as well," she said.
"The ultimate vision is to augment career resource and advising centers at schools to make them more robust and attractive to students. And also then from capturing the healthcare space, ultimately to help other career tracks within the education system."
(Image source: medsembly.com)
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