High school students participate in a fall semester introductory medical science curriculum taught by University of Pennsylvania undergraduates as part of their high school’s science curriculum.
Each high school then selects students for the spring semester program based on the student’s interest and level of engagement in the fall introductory course.
Then, in the spring semester, the Netter Center helps these students travel to the University after school for 75-minute in-depth lessons in each subject: gastroenterology (9th grade); neurology (10th grade); cardiology (11th grade); and veterinary medicine (12th grade). These interactive lessons focus primarily on health issues that are prevalent in the high school students’ community. The high school students get to have some fun playing doctor by: conducting experiments, performing dissections, examining specimens, and going on a field trip to the New Bolton Center, the School of Veterinary Medicine’s hospital. This portion of the program occurs one afternoon per week for 12 weeks.
A Career Day is held midway through the spring semester to expose the high school students to the variety of careers in medicine and health care, as well as to the summer programs available to them at Penn.
The Pipeline Program culminates with a final presentation. To prepare, undergraduate and graduate students help the high school students in small groups to review medical literature, perform Internet searches, prepare a slide presentation, and practice public speaking skills. Families of the high school students are invited to attend the final event, and watch their students give presentations on their selected topic.