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A New Career Opportunity in the Summer Health Professions Education Program

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The Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP), formerly known as the Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP), is an unique, free summer opportunity for college freshmen and sophomores to experience first-hand what medical school is all about. SHPEP is expanding to accept students interested in a variety of health professions, in addition to medicine and dentistry, and is an experience that can create a lasting impression. Learn more about the program and the benefits of participating.

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The Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP) program, a free, six-week summer enrichment program for college freshman and sophomore students interested in medicine and dentistry, has been shaping careers and changing the lives of pre-medical and pre-dental college students for more than 27 years. For the first time, the program is expanding to also accept students interested in a variety of health professions, such as nursing, pharmacy, physician assistant, and public health.

Formerly SMDEP, the program is now the Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP). SHPEP provides students interested in health careers with an educational opportunity during the summer that sets a solid foundation in the sciences, and more importantly, is guaranteed to make a lasting impression.

SHPEP is open to college freshmen and sophomores who identify as underrepresented minorities in the health care professions, and students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Spanning 12 different states, applicants have the option to choose a program site close to home or visit other sites across the country. During the program, students will participate in classes emphasizing the basic sciences and math, career development activities, clinical exposure, and workshops in financial planning and health policy. This program also provides a unique opportunity to meet with other students interested in exploring various health professions, live on a college campus, and connect with the school’s faculty and admissions officers.

Dr. Pascale White, an alumna of the 2003 SMDEP/MMEP Duke University School of Medicine says, “Participating in the SMDEP/MMEP program allowed me to be well prepared for the arduous journey of becoming a physician. Taking classes in MCAT preparation, calculus, and physics (to name a few) equipped me with the tools to overcome common hurdles that students often face in the premedical process.”

While the program is only six weeks long, your summer experience won’t end after completing SHPEP. With over 22,000 alumni to date, building a strong alumni network is a priority for the program. SHPEP program staff make concerted efforts to connect and engage with alumni and transform their summer experiences into lifelong connections throughout their personal and professional careers.

For 27 summers, the program has supported students’ exploration of their career dreams. We are looking forward to our next cohort of scholars in 2017. Join us in our efforts to advance diversity in the health professions – apply for the 2017 program (the application opens November 1) and help us spread the word. 

For more information about the program and how to apply, visit

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