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SUMMER PREMED PROGRAM: Inspiring Future Doctors
by Blanca Rivas-UC Irvine
During the summer of 2013 the Summer Pre-Med Program celebrated its 3rd year of existence. The program was created in 2010 by the collaboration of 3 UCI SOM outreach programs: High School Outreach Program, Center for Future Health Professionals and the Latino Medical Student Association. The program consists of three two-week sessions throughout the summer that cater to 60 high school students each. Each session is designed to stimulate an interest in talented high school students in pursuing careers in healthcare and science. The program does so by following the 3 core values of the School of Medicine’s mission: Discover, Teach and Heal.
Discover: each student is challenged to think independently and critically.
Teach: hands-on workshops and a group presentation on disease and research encourages students to become life-long learners and teachers
Heal: by learning how to conduct patient interviews in the clinical setting students learn how to meet the unique needs of the patient
These core values were all exemplified by participation in various workshops led by School of Medicine faculty, medical students and undergraduate student coaches. Such activities included an opening day White Coat Ceremony, UCI Medical Center visit, mock trial to learn the legal side of medicine, college and career development workshop, and clinical skills training. The exposure the students have to hands-on medicine is unmatched by many other premedical programs. According to one of the creators and major proponents of the program, Dr. Marco Angulo, “the program allows the kid born and raised in Newport Beach to work together with the kid from Santa Ana who might not have the same resources as the kid from Newport Beach.” This program fosters a positive environment that allows students from diverse backgrounds to work together to develop their interests in healthcare and science.
The program also fosters a strong mentoring environment by recruiting passionate and giving undergraduate student and medical student coaches. LMSA can proudly say that 6 out of the 8 medical student coaches who participated in various sessions were LMSA officers-Victor Cisneros (session I), Jesse Gomez (session II and III), Krystal Jimenez (session I), Jose Muñiz- Castro (session III), Bianca Rivas (session III) and Cristina Vargas (session I). Victor Cisneros and Bianca Rivas also had the opportunity of working on the admissions committee working alongside the creators and facilitators of the program Dr. Benoosh Afghani, Dr. Marco Angulo, Wally Muratori and Molly Blair. The two LMSA officers shared the responsibility of screening scholarship applicants and rewarded scholarships to those students who demonstrated need for financial assistance in order to participate in the program.
LMSA plans to continue its strong support and dedication to the UCI Summer Premed Program whose mission aligns with LMSA’s mission of creating and mentoring a generation of healthcare professionals that will give back to their communities and communities in need.
For more information on the UCI Summer Premed Program please visit http://www.som.uci.edu/summerpremed/index.asp