In the ARCHES program, I have been privileged with the opportunity to meet many members in the Georgetown Medical community. While we may only have an hour with a visitor at times, I know that through the ARCHES program and by being physically present, I have left an impression which will be remembered even years down the road when I may need to reach out to these people again. Aside from the world class physicians we are meeting, ARCHES has also provided a chance to meet seven other people with diverse backgrounds, but have similar qualities and core values. Cumulatively, all of the people we have met and continue to meet will be the reason we are successful in our pursuit of becoming Medical Doctors.
Aside from building networks, the program also helps to build fellows as competent community members and professionals. Although the fellows are from underrepresented groups in medicine, we still need diversity training because often STEM and STEP curriculums do not overlap in our undergraduate disciplines. These trainings on cultural competence, hidden bias, and diversity dialogues in Medicine help to break down barriers and build community within and beyond the program.
Other ways in which ARCHES supports our professional development is through engaging lectures which help to train us about topics related to communication etiquette, research competence, knowledge acquisition, and mind body wellness. These trainings not only promote professionalism, they also empower students with tools that are versatile and applicable to any career path and all aspects of life. However, the most important value taught is to promote these skills and help others, to continue to build and inspire beyond the ARCHES program.