SIU School of Medicine

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MEDPREP | Medical/Dental Education Preparatory Program

Course Descriptions

MEDPREP's Wheeler Hall

MEDPREP's Wheeler Hall in the 1980s

MEDPREP students complete a rigorous academic program consisting of required and elective MEPDREP courses, in conjunction with supplementary upper-division science courses offered by other departments on the SIUC campus. While each student’s program is uniquely designed in consultation with a MEDPREP advisor, courses commonly taken by our students include Human Physiology, Molecular Biology, Survey of Anatomy, Gross Anatomy, Mammalian Physiology, Histology, Developmental Biology, Biochemistry, and Neuroscience.

Students in the optional MP/MPH or MP/MBS programs will take graduate level coursework to satisfy Master’s program requirements. For more information, please visit the Graduate Programs page.

Required MEDPREP Courses

MEDP 400A – Orientation
(1 credit hour, Fall Semester, P/F)
This course is designed to examine the factors related to the medical school admissions process.  The course focuses on the mechanics of applying to medical school, understanding the admissions criteria, self-assessment as a medical school applicant, and preparation for becoming a competitive applicant.  Through class discussions, written and oral assignments, and guest lectures, the student develops a comprehensive understanding of the medical school admissions process.

MEDP 400B – Medical Seminar
(1 credit hour, Spring Semester, P/F)
By utilizing information acquired in MEDP 400A (prerequisite), students examine, in detail, medical school admissions policies, as well as factors related to medical education including:  curriculum, grading and promotion practices, support services, and medical specialty fields.  The course utilizes two primary strategies to deliver the course content: (1) guest speakers and (2) oral/written reports.

MEDP 401A – Academic Enrichment
(1 credit hour, Summer Semester; 1 credit hour, Fall Semester)
Academic Enrichment provides students with the opportunities to develop skills that will provide a foundation for successful learning in medical/dental school and as a health care provider.  Improvement is dependent on the students' willingness to change (by abandoning ineffective habits) and on their motivation to develop more desirable strategies.  The course is designed to assist students in: 1) evaluating their own learning styles, 2) utilizing new strategies and techniques for a higher level of learning and testing, 3) acquiring new information and techniques for becoming more organized and active learners, and 4) learning how to manage stress and text anxiety.

MEDP 401E – Convocation
(1 credit hour, Fall and Spring Semesters, S/U, Year 1 and 2)
Convocation is designed to give MEDPREP students an opportunity to hear speakers address a variety of topics that will enhance their experience as professionals-in-training. Some former topics have been on the Problem Based Learning Curriculum, medical ethics, the application process, and financing medical school. 

MEDP 401I – Career Development
(1 credit hour, Summer Semester, P/F)
During a student’s first summer at MEDPREP, he/she is involved in a variety of activities.  This course includes seminars and speakers, quantitative skills, and career development.


MEDP 401C – Quantitative Skills
(1 credit hour, Summer, P/F)
This course is designed to accomplish two purposes:  (1) to help students to be successful in their course work at SIUC, such as math, physics, chemistry, and biology, by increasing their quantitative proficiency, and (2) to help students obtain scores on the MCAT sufficient for admission to a medical school.

MEDP 401F, 401G, 401H – Critical Analysis and Reading Skills I-III
(1 credit hour, Summer Semester; 2 credit hours, Fall and Spring Semesters)
This course is designed to assist students in developing the reading and writing skills they will be tested on during the MCAT and used throughout their professional and personal lives. Students will work on: 1) developing higher-level critical reading skills through component analyses and summarizing of passage writings, 2) analyzing passages, questions, and answer stems, 3) charting errors to develop personalized VR rules, 4) developing flexibility in test-taking and computer strategies, 5) strengthening writing in terms of language and organization, 6) building vocabulary, and 7) reading a variety of articles to increase literary schema.

MEDP 402A – Behavioral and Social Science Applications
(1 credit hour, Summer Semester; 2 credit hours, Fall and Spring Semesters)
The behavioral and social science application course is an introductory overview of psychology and sociology used in preparation for the MCAT examination and medical school matriculation. The course will examine factors that influence human behavior, including socio-cultural factors, environmental and behavioral factors, human emotions, and individual and group dynamics. (This is a continuation course.)

MEDP 403G – Biology Applications
(1 credit hour, Summer Semester; 2 credit hours, Fall and Spring Semesters)
Biology Applications is a team-taught course that covers foundational biology topics in preparation for the MCAT examination and medical school matriculation. Emphasis is placed on improving problem-solving skills and increasing the student's knowledge base. Course topics include human physiological systems, and principles of cell and molecular biology, immunology, microbiology, genetics and evolution. (This is a continuation course.)

MEDP 404A – Inorganic Chemistry Applications
(1 credit hour, Summer Semester; 2 credit hours, Fall Semester)
Inorganic Chemistry Applications is a review of general chemistry with an emphasis on problem solving.  The course provides a solid foundation for the general chemistry and the atomic physics topics emphasized on the MCAT:  electronic structure and the periodic table, bonding, phases and equilibria, stoichiometry, thermodynamics and thermochemistry, kinetics and equilibrium, solution chemistry, acids and bases, electrochemistry, and atomic and nuclear structure.  (This is a continuation course.)

MEDP 404C – Organic Chemistry Applications
(2 credit hours, Spring Semester)
Organic Chemistry Applications is a review of organic chemistry with an emphasis on problem solving.  The course provides a solid foundation for the organic chemistry topics emphasized on the MCAT:  covalent bonds, molecular structure and spectra, separations and purifications, hydrocarbons, oxygen-containing compounds, amines, and biological molecules.

MEDP 405A – Physics Applications
(1 credit hour, Fall Semester)
Physics Applications is a comprehensive overview of topics from a basic college physics course.  The topics covered are those listed in the AAMC Student Manual for the MCAT.  The content review is based on practice on calculation and extensive study of concept questions with extensive work on MCAT passages in the spring semester. Mathematical estimation and test-taking techniques are also emphasized.  (This is a continuation course).


MEDP 401D – Problem Based Learning
(3 credit hours, Spring Semester, P/F)
Problem Based Learning (PBL) focuses on skills required for success in a problem-based learning professional school curriculum. Using a student-centered learning model, faculty tutors guide students through simulated patient cases to build both thinking strategies and foundational knowledge. Limited enrollment; permission of the PBL course supervisor is required. 

MEDP 402C – Clinical Experience
(1 or 2 credit hours, Fall, Spring or Summer Semesters, P/F)
The Clinical Experience course is a one- or two-credit elective course offered each semester (fall, spring, and summer). The primary goal of Clinical Experience is to enable MEDPREP students to gain exposure to a health-related environment under the direct supervision of a practicing health care provider.  This involves the cooperation of an outside agent or agency to serve in the capacity of site supervision. In most instances the site supervisor is a practicing physician. This is a limited enrollment course; permission to register must be obtained from the clinical experience course supervisor. 

MEDP 403B  - Medical Pharmacology
(2 credit hours, Spring Semester)
This course serves as an introduction to pharmacology as presented in the medical school curriculum. Emphasis is placed on foundational principles of pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and drug toxicity. The course surveys the most commonly prescribed prescription medications, including treatments for infection, hyperlipidemia, depression, anxiety, thyroid disorders, asthma and diabetes.

MEDP 404E  - Medical Biochemistry
(3 credit hours, Fall Semester)
This course serves as an introduction to biochemistry as presented in the medical school curriculum. Emphasis is placed on application of basic principles of biochemistry to human physiology and disease. Topics include fuel metabolism, molecular biology techniques in medicine, protein metabolism and the urea cycle, enzyme kinetics, blood cell metabolism, and ethanol metabolism and toxicity.

The MEDPREP mission is to increase the numbers of underrepresented minority and disadvantaged students from southern and central
Illinois who will enter and graduate from health professions schools and who will serve in U.S. health professions shortage areas.