Twelve medical and dental institutions nationwide have been selected to participate in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP), an enrichment program for college students interested in pursuing careers in medicine and dentistry.
The AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) and ADEA (American Dental Education Association)-associations representing U.S. medical and dental schools-have joined together to administer the SMDEP, which seeks to create a more diverse medical and dental workforce.
This innovative program allows institutions to develop and implement six-week academic enrichment programs for qualified undergraduate college students who represent diverse population groups that are underrepresented in medicine and dentistry.
Applicants may come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, racial and ethnic groups that historically have been underrepresented, or parts of the country (such as rural areas) where residents historically have been underrepresented.
"Programs like SMDEP are crucial in the struggle to strengthen the educational pipeline and reach the long-term goal of a health care profession that looks more like America," said AAMC President Jordan J. Cohen, M.D.
"Congratulations to all the schools chosen to participate in this important effort." Dr. Richard W. Valachovic, D.M.D., Executive Director of ADEA, said, "Meeting the needs of a diverse workforce is one of ADEA's strategic directions. We look forward to collaborating with AAMC and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to help prepare students from diverse backgrounds for success in dental and medical schools."
The institutions selected to participate include:
Case Western Reserve University Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and School of Dental & Oral Surgery
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and UCLA School of Dentistry
Duke University School of Medicine
Howard University Colleges of Dentistry and Medicine
The University of Texas at Houston Dental Branch and Medical School
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey - New Jersey Medical School and New Jersey Dental School
University of Louisville Schools of Medicine and Dentistry
University of Nebraska Medical Center, Colleges of Medicine and Dentistry
University of Virginia School of Medicine
University of Washington Schools of Medicine and Dentistry
Yale School of Medicine
Each program site can accept 80 potential medical and dental students per summer. The programs introduce the students to the academic and other requirements of these professions and are structured around a set of core operational and programmatic principles including: academic enrichment in the basic sciences and key electives; learning skills seminars; exposure to medical and dental clinics; exploration of the medical and dental professions; financial planning workshops; and individualized educational plans to help students achieve their goals.
The schools will receive funding support of $300,000 per year for four years from RWJF, along with matching support from their own institutions.
The SMDEP builds on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's earlier Summer Medical Education Program and complements its ongoing Pipeline, Profession, and Practice: Community-Based Dental Education program; these initiatives seek to attract, develop and retain a high-quality health care workforce, with an emphasis on diversity and leadership development.
Student applications will be accepted at the participating SMDEP institutions beginning in December and the programs will begin in the summer of 2006.
For more information on the application process, visit www.smdep.org, or contact Kevin Harris at (202) 828-0570 or David Brunson, DDS, at (202) 289-7201.