About the SPAEP Program
The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine would like to invite you to participate in our Summer Premedical Academic Enrichment Program (SPAEP) Level I or II. This program, open to high school graduates and college students, is designed specifically to prepare and support students who wish to pursue careers in the field of medicine. Spend seven weeks in Level I, strengthening your academic skills and learning more about careers in medicine. Or, spend seven weeks immersed and engaged in the work of physician-scientists including laboratory research and MCAT preparation through Level II. Both programs will enhance your skills and knowledge in science, writing and public speaking. You’ll discover a challenging and stimulating program in the environment of a major academic medical center.
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Health System
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Health System (UPMCHS) is a dynamic, progressive academic health care complex encompassing six schools of health sciences, and a host of affiliated hospitals, clinical facilities, and specialized medical centers. In recent years, UPMCHS has experienced a renaissance in programs, personnel, resources, and physical space. A concerted effort has been made to establish pioneering health care programs and to seek out some of the nation's most talented scientists to fill key leadership positions. Since the early 1980's, UPMCHS has launched major, interdisciplinary programs in cancer, AIDS, immunology, genetics, aging, orthopaedics, and cardiovascular disease coupled with already strong programs in transplantation, epidemiology, neuroscience, and psychiatry, among others. Among the lab-to-clinic centers that have blossomed during the past decade are the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute; the Division of Transplantation Surgery; the Sports Medicine Institute; the Center for Emergency Medicine; the Center for Neuroscience; the Heart Institute; the Brain, Behavior, and Immunity Center; the Benedum Geriatric Center; the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center; and the Center for Biotechnology and Bioengineering.
The Academic Program - SPAEP Level I
Level I is designed for those entering their first or second year of college, although third year students may be selected. Students study five diseases of importance to underserved communities: AIDS, hypertension, smoking-related illness, sickle cell anemia, and diabetes. These diseases are used to illustrate key biological and chemical principles, and their importance to the study of medicine.
- Integrated in the study of these diseases are a 15 hour per week Medical Biology course (consisting of talks, labs and discussions) and a six hour per week General Writing and Public Speaking course.
- Beyond the academic curriculum, participants engage in a variety of clinical enrichment activities such as viewing surgery in the operating room, observing births, touring the County morgue, shadowing physicians, and participating in a community health activity.
- All Level I students follow the same curriculum, and the courses are offered on a non-credit basis. The program is limited to a maximum of 12 students, so each can receive individualized personal support and academic counseling. Courses are taught by University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and affiliated faculty.
- The summer culminates in a presentation of an independent project to which all SPAEP faculty and students are invited.
Program dates are Sunday, June 2, 2013 to Saturday, July 20, 2013.
The Academic Program - SPAEP Level II
Level II is a highly competitive summer research program that pairs talented undergraduates with biomedical researchers in a variety of areas. Faculty from the departments of Human Genetics, Cell Biology and Physiology, Immunology, Pathology, and many others, have supervised the experiences of SPAEP students in the past. Every effort is made to match students with researchers working in their stated field of interest.
- In addition to a 32- hour per week research schedule, Level II students participate in medical school admission workshops, and MCAT preparation.
- Level II students prepare a research poster at the completion of the program, They present their work to their SPAEP peers and preceptors. Additionally they are required to present at a local conference for undergraduate researchers. Level II students are also encouraged to submit their research for presentation at one or more national scientific conferences
Program dates are Sunday, June 2, 2013 to Saturday, July 20, 2013.
Enrichment Activities - Levels I and II
Learning Skills Seminars - Sessions are offered by a learning skill specialist. We focus on assessment and development of study skills such as note-taking, test-taking, problem solving and memorization techniques. Assistance in reading and writing scientific material is available. Individual sessions may be held as requested.
Brown Bag Lunch Series - Offered once per week for Level I students, physicians give informal presentations on their backgrounds, preparation, interests and goals. Level II students attend these sessions and two more per week where they meet and talk with physician-scientists from across the medical center.
Physician Shadowing - Students are provided an opportunity to accompany physicians on their daily duties and observe the clinical hospital setting.
Social Activities - SPAEP Level I and II social activities are held together. Thus, students are able to build a broad network of peers who are on the same academic and career path.
Level 1 — There is no charge for tuition or educational materials. All transportation, housing and meal costs are arranged by the program. Each Level I participant receives a $1,000.00 stipend, paid in two $500 installments at the beginning and end of the program.Students reside on the University of Pittsburgh campus in Pennsylvania Hall, a secure, air-conditioned residence hall. The residence hall is co-ed. Men and women do not share rooms. Lounges, laundry facilities and vending machines are available for student use. Meals will be provided through Pitt Funds, a declining balance meal plan that allows dining in campus cafeterias, and many local eating establishments. Students are supervised in the residence halls by a Student Coordinator who also resides in the residence hall. The Student Coordinator organizes social activities and functions as the laboratory assistant. In addition, all staff members of the Office of Student Affairs/Diversity Programs are available to the students for support. Students receive campus identification cards, and thus have full access to the University of Pittsburgh campus, including the William Pitt Student Union, computing facilities, and the Maurice and Laura Falk Library of the Health Sciences. Student health coverage will only be provided to students who do not have health insurance.
Level II — There is no charge for instruction or educational materials. All transportation, housing and meal costs are arranged by the program. Each Level II participant receives a $1000.00 stipend at the end of the program. Students reside on the University of Pittsburgh campus in Pennsylvania Hall, a secure, air-conditioned, co-ed residence hall. Men and women do not share rooms. Lounges, laundry facilities and vending machines are available for student use. Meal-plans are available through Pitt Funds, a declining balance meal plan that allows dining in campus cafeterias, and many local eating establishments. Students are supervised in the residence halls by a Student Coordinator who also resides in the residence hall. The Student Coordinator organizes social activities, and functions as the laboratory assistant for Level I. In addition, all staff members of the Office of Student Affairs/Diversity Programs are available to the students for support. Students receive campus identification cards, and thus have full access to the University of Pittsburgh campus, including the William Pitt Student Union, computing facilities, and the Maurice and Laura Falk Library of the Health Sciences. Student health coverage will only be provided to students who do not have health insurance.
**Students may not pursue external employment or additional course work during their participation.
Social Policy and Guidelines
Students enrolled in SPAEP must be mature, capable of assuming responsibility for their behavior, and willing to comply with all program and campus regulations designed to protect the health and safety of all participants. Students must attend and be on time for all classes and scheduled activities.
If you have any questions or concerns, please direct them to:
University of Pittsburgh
School of Medicine
Office of Student Affairs/Diversity Programs
532 Scaife Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
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