Introduction: The Latino cancer burden is expected to rise 142% by 2030. Cancer is the leading cause of death among Latinos who represent 18% of the population and are the majority minority population in the US. Yet, they represent the most underrepresented among those with a doctoral degree. This under-representation and the increasing Latino health disparities is a multifaceted issue. There is thus a clear need for a robust pipeline of Latino health professionals trained across the many disciplines needed to truly address health disparities. Methodology: Éxito! annually selects 25 master’s-level participants to an intense five-day Summer Institute (SI). The interactive sessions promote collaboration between trainees, presenters, and mentors. Sessions are led by successful Latino health professionals in a culturally congruent atmosphere that enhances academic self-efficacy to overcome barriers, provide social support, networking and mentoring. To enhance research skills, competitive internships are awarded to 10 of the alumni of the SI working with a mentor focused on researching Latino health disparities. Program success is measured by changes in academic self-efficacy, e.g. “accepted into program of choice”; confidence to overcome academic barriers, e.g. “applying to a program”; improvement in research skills (internships); and, successful acceptance into a doctoral degree program. Results: Since 2010, 200 individuals have completed SI training and 49 internships have been awarded. Éxito! has improved academic self- efficacy (p < .001), improved confidence toward obtaining a doctoral degree (p < .001) and improved research skills (p < .001). Of the 200 Éxito! alumni, 26% (n=53) have successfully enrolled in doctoral programs. Thus far 12 have received their doctoral degrees. Conclusions: Health disparities are largely determined by many interactive social factors including cultural incongruence between affected populations and those conducting the research. Éxito! is a successful model for increasing the pipeline of Latino health disparities researchers.
Citation Format: Amelie G. Ramirez, Daniel C. Hughes, Arely Perez, Stacy L. Cantu-Pawlik, Rena J. Pasick. Éxito! The Latino cancer research leadership training program: Motivating Latinx students toward the doctorate [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the AACR Virtual Conference: Thirteenth AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved; 2020 Oct 2-4. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2020;29(12 Suppl):Abstract nr PO-057.