The Access, Diversity, and Inclusion (ADI) portfolio concluded six out of 12 site visits to Summer Medical and Dental Education Programs (SMDEP) across the country. SMDEP is a six-week summer academic enrichment program generously funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through a collaboration between ADEA and the Association of American Medical Colleges. Dr. Rick Valachovic is a Program Director of SMDEP. The program offers freshman and sophomore college students from under-represented and disadvantaged backgrounds intensive and personalized medical and dental school preparation at a total of twelve sites. The program is free (full tuition, housing, and meals) for students.
For 2013, almost 60% of the applicants received additional travel scholarships, for a total of more than $26,000 in award money. For students, it is an invaluable experience. One Case Western Reserve University attendee said of the experience, “I believe a few of the strengths of SMDEP at Case Western is the networking with faculty, TA’s [teaching assistants] and the exposure to doctors. We also have the opportunity to speak with the dean and have a Q&A session with them.” A Rutgers University young scholar said, “The leadership [administration] strives to empower everyone.”
SMDEP will celebrate its 25th Anniversary in 2014. Since 1989, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has provided support to increase diversity in the health care workforce through its funding of pipeline programs. As such, ADEA in association with AAMC will organize a series of celebrations and alumni receptions over the next year at existing health profession meetings across the country, culminating with a larger event in Washington, D.C., in 2014.
- On July 16, 2013, the National Program Office officially launched the new SMDEP webpage.
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- Program sites: Case Western Reserve University; Columbia University; Duke University; Howard University; University of California, Los Angeles; Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and Rutgers School of Dental Medicine; University of Louisville; University of Nebraska; University of Virginia; University of Washington; The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston; and Yale University. All sites are medical-dental school collaborations except for Duke, UVA and Yale who are not directly affiliated with dental schools.