The first in a series of celebrations, the Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP) kicked off its 25th Anniversary tour event at the 2014 American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Annual Session & Exhibition in San Antonio, TX, March 15–18. The event was hosted by ADEA’s Access, Diversity and Inclusion portfolio. At the event, the ADEA staff showed a new video about the SMDEP
program and its impact over the last 25 years. Watch the video on the Access, Diversity and Inclusion webpage.
The SMDEP National Program Office and its 12 sites are celebrating 25 successful years, which includes more than 22,000 program alumni. At the 2014 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition, the kick-off event acknowledged nine dental school deans for their continued support of and dedication to students and the program.
With funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a study was conducted in 1984 that found a notable decline since 1977 in medical school applications from various racial and ethnic groups. The study findings contributed to the formation of a program that focused on strategies to mitigate declining numbers of applicants from racial and ethnic minority groups, including African Americans, Mexican Americans, mainland Puerto Ricans, American Indians and Alaska Natives. As a result, the first SMDEP cohort of scholars was gathered 25 years ago. Within the last decade, the program changed to include students representing a range of economic, cultural and geographic diversity, and expanded to include dentistry in 2005.
SMDEP’s 25th Anniversary Celebration and Alumni Receptions continue at a number of professional and student-led organizations. A few include the Student National Medical Association Annual Medical Education Conference in Washington, D.C.; The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston; the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA; the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions National Meeting in San Francisco, CA; and the National Medical Association Annual Convention & Scientific Assembly in Honolulu, HI. For more information about SMDEP and the 25th Anniversary Celebration, please visit smdep.org.