Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Educational Pipeline Program

About the Program


In 1998, Karen Hamilton, PhD created the Educational Pipeline Program in the Perelman School of Medicine as part of Project 3000 by 2000, an ambitious program launched by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). The goal of the AAMC’s campaign was to increase the matriculation of underrepresented minorities - Blacks, American Indians, Mexican Americans, and Mainland Puerto Ricans - in medical school to a total of 3000 by the year 2000.

The Pipeline Program initially served high school students from African American, Hispanic, and financially disadvantaged backgrounds in Thomas A. Edison and Overbrook High Schools. In 2003, the Pipeline Program combined forces with the Netter Center for Community Partnerships to form a strong and enduring relationship with Sayre High School. And in 2014, the Netter Center also began to recruit West Philadelphia High School students to the program. Today, the Pipeline Program works with high school students from both Sayre and West Philadelphia High Schools.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Educational Pipeline Program is to provide mentorship and education at all levels: high school students are taught by undergraduates and graduate students; undergraduates learn from graduate students; and graduate students are guided by physicians.

Further, the Pipeline Program provides a valuable means for college students, medical trainees, physicians-in-training and faculty at the University of Pennsylvania to contribute meaningfully to their surrounding community.


  • Foster a multi-tiered mentorship where undergraduates mentor high school students who are mentored by medical students who in turn learn from residents
  • Expose high school students to the importance of post-secondary education along with an introduction to the variety of careers in medicine and healthcare
  • Help medical students learn to communicate effectively about medical problems, i.e. diseases, in “plain English”
  • Inform high school students of significant health disparities affecting minorities