Center of Excellence for Diversity in Health Education and Research

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Summer Pre-Med Enrichment Program For Under-Represented Minority Students


The aim of this program is to prepare under-represented minority students for careers in academic medicine or other positions of leadership in medicine. Over a ten-week period, beginning late May, students who have completed two years of undergraduate education, will be engaged in a program of research, clinical observations, classroom exercises and teaching observations designed to stimulate their interest in academic medicine. The students will be exposed to activities pertinent to the medical school application and admissions process, including classroom instruction and simulated testing to prepare the students for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT).

This summer program, now in its sixteenth year of operation, is sponsored by the Center of Excellence for Diversity in Health Education and Research of the Perelman School of Medicine, with funds provided by Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Bureau of  Health Workforce. Jerry C. Johnson, M.D., Professor of Medicine, is the Project Director.

Program Components:

Research and Clinical Observation

For the research component of the program, each student is assigned a medical school faculty mentor with whom the student works 3 days per week in a laboratory or clinical setting. At the end of the program, each student participant gives a PowerPoint presentation pertaining to their work before an audience composed of medical school faculty, medical students and other summer program students. Students are assigned a variety of clinical preceptors with whom the participants will shadow.

Lecture Series

The lecture series consist of  topics designed to introduce the student to principles of medical education, health care and public health.

Past Lecture topics have included:                                                
  • What It Means to Be a Doctor
  • Publicly Funded Health Programs
  • New Models of Care
  • Health Disparities
  • New Applications of Social Media in Research
  • Community Based Research
  • Medical School Application Tips
  • Medical School Interview Strategies
  • Writing the Personal Statement

MCAT Classroom Instruction and Testing

Kaplan MCAT 2017 will include:

  •  Custom instruction to meet your individual needs
  •  In person core sessions with convenient live and recorded make-ups
  •  MCAT 2017 practice items, including full-length practice tests, each fully aligned with the new test blueprint
  • Virtual City Sessions:  These scheduled sessions, held in a computer lab, will provide you with the opportunity to work through your personalized plan of online resources. This will allow you to focus on areas, content and strategies you personally need to continue to increase your score. A Kaplan instructor will moderate several of the sessions (early on) to ensure that you understand how to best leverage these resources. These online resources include: (a) The MCAT Channel--providing you unlimited access to hours of   supplemental live, online instruction (b) MCAT Qbank--allowing you to design your own practice quizzes from  MCAT-style questions and track your progress as you go
  •  Kaplan:7-Book Subject Review, Lesson Book and High-Yield Problem Solving Guide--created in partnership with Scientific American

Program Dates for 2017 Summer Program:

Tuesday, May 30, 2017 (Arrival and dinner)


Thursday, August 03, 2017 (Last day of program activities)

*Friday, August 04, 2017 (Checkout date)

Summer Program Alumni:

The Penn Center of Excellence (Penn COE) Summer Pre-Med Enrichment Program was recently featured in the Perelman School of Medicine publication, System News: “Investing in the Future,” September 2015

Many of  Penn COE summer program alumni are now practitioners pursuing successful careers.  For a listing of these participants and their areas of practice, view our alumni compendium at this link: COE Summer Program Alumni Compendium.

In addition, several alumni are pursuing careers in academic medicine at the following schools of medicine:

  • Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Morehouse School of Medicine
  • New York University School of Medicine
  • Temple School of Medicine                                                                                                                                                                                                            One recent Penn COE Summer Pre-Med Enrichment Program participant (Summer of 2015 and Summer of 2016) has been  selected as a 2017 Rhodes Scholar:


   For the Penn COE Summer  Program 2017

A. Requirements:

  1. Minimum 3.0 Cumulative GPA
  2. Rising Junior or Rising Senior  (Undergraduates Only)
  3. Submit and Complete an Online Application
  4. Two Letters of Recommendation - sent via US MAIL
  5. Official Undergraduate Transcripts (from any institution attended) - sent via US MAIL
  6. * Please review brochure  for additional information: 2017 Summer Program Information Brochure

**See Application Checklist**

2017 Application:  Submission begins October 1, 2016

B.  Please note the two deadlines. Late documents will not be considered.

  MAIL-IN portion of the application: MUST BE Post Marked no later than January 9, 2017

  • Two (2) typewritten and signed letters of recommendation (sent via US Mail)
  • Official transcripts (sent via US Mail)


 ONLINE portion of the application: DUE Midnight, January 31, 2017

  • Undergraduate information (institution, address, major, and GPA)
  • A one-page essay describing why you are interested in this program and why you should be selected (please have essays completed before beginning the online application) format: 12 point Times New Roman font, and 1 inch margins (line spacing should be no more than 1.5)
  • Ethnicity information
  • A one-page essay discussing your interest in medicine (please have essays completed before beginning the online application) format: 12 point, Times New Roman font, and 1 inch margins (line spacing should be no more than 1.5)
  • Research experience
  • Extra-curricular activities

C. For Questions Concerning Our 2017 Summer Pre-Med Enrichment Program Contact:

                                         Jessica Incmikoski: Summer Program Coordinator


(215) 898-3492



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