Physician Pipeline Preparatory Program
Twenty tenth-grade students in Springfield were selected for a pilot program to encourage local high school students interested in becoming physicians. The program is in it's second year. The P 4 gives local high school students an inside look at what life is like as a physician. Organized by SIU School of Medicine and the Springfield Public Schools, the Physician Pipeline Preparatory Program started at the medical school in November 2009.
“I am very pleased with the selection of these students. Because the applicants were so stellar, we pushed the number of participants to twenty-four,” said Dr. Wesley McNeese, executive assistant to the dean for diversity, multicultural and minority affairs at SIU.
The students were selected by a committee with members from both partners. They submitted letters of recommendation, a personal statement and a summary of volunteer, school and community activities, all of which needed to reflect superior academic performance, high levels of motivation and a sincere interest in pursuing medical careers.
Fourteen are minority students.
The curriculum for the pilot program was developed by faculty and staff from both Springfield Schools and the SIU medical school. The P 4 components for the after-school program include participation in medical school style curriculum; introduction to problem based learning (PBL); tours and shadowing, and interactions with SIU students and faculty. “We hope this pilot program will develop into a permanent partnership with the Springfield schools and eventually some of the P 4 ‘graduates’ will return to earn their medical degrees at SIU,” said SIU Dean and Provost J. Kevin Dorsey, M.D., Ph.D. “This effort matches well with part of our mission, which is to be of service to the communities where we work and live.”
The next P4 session is set for July 2011. The students will be participating in lectures, field trips to a medical facility, as well as participation in a medical conference.
“We are particularly interested in providing this opportunity to youth with potential who might not otherwise get the guidance they need to pursue a medical career,” said Walter Milton, Jr., Ed.D., superintendent of Springfield Public Schools. “P 4 is a shining example of a collective effort that will produce a body of youth who are ready to compete in the global medical environment.”