Established with a major grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Summer Medical and Dental Education Program at the University of Virginia began 31 years ago with the aim of helping under-represented minority students become more competitive candidates for medical schools nationally. UVA’s SMDEP program has become a model for other medical school preparatory programs that serve minority students and others from disadvantaged backgrounds. Please explore this site to find testimonials from, and success stories of, our esteemed graduates.
SMDEP Mission and Goals
- Expose students to the “real world of medicine” through a clinical medicine lecture series on cutting edge topics in health including: stem-cell research, telemedicine, bioethics, nanotechnology, bioterriosm, and global health.
- Expose students to the role of physicians in promoting good health, the fact and fiction surrounding addiction, sexually transmitted diseases including HIV and AIDS, cancer-current status and future prospects as well as challenges and rewards of a career in medicine and dentistry, medicine and biomedical careers.
- Expose students to health disparities in the under-served population.
- Expose students to introduction to obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, geriatrics, dermatology, emergency medicine, radiation oncology, endocrinology and cardiovascular diseases.
- Provide extensive opportunities for interaction with physicians via a series entitled “Where Doctor’s Work”. In this series, students visit clinical settings such as the autopsy department, radiology department, cardiology clinic, an assisted living facility, the primary care clinic, internal medicine primary care clinic, and a state-of-the art Simulation Center.
- Provide mentoring by eminent physicians and dentists.
- Provide academic enrichment involving the application of biology, chemistry, physics, and quantitative techniques to medicine, as well as enhancing students’ problem-solving, writing, reading comprehension, opportunities for shadowing with physicians, and other communication skills.
- Provide one on one personal counseling session where students are assisted in developing a career development program directed toward exploration of the medical and dental professions as well as an individualized education plan that includes identification of other appropriate future development experiences.
- Provide do’s and don’ts of medical school admissions process, simulated medical school interviews, and assistance in development of a personal statement.
- Provide workshops opportunity on financial planning, learning skills, test taking, time management, and stress management.
- Participation opportunity in a medical school recruitment fair during which representatives from several other medical schools meet with the participants to describe their schools’ admission criteria, programs, support services and offer other information about their schools.
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