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MEDPREP Students Begin Studies at SIU Med School

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Program celebrates 20th milestone ceremony

Thirty-two students took their first steps in the journey to becoming a doctor at the Shirley J. McGlinn Medical/Dental Education Preparatory Program (MEDPREP) Milestone Ceremony on Sunday, Aug. 28. MEDPREP, a two-year, post-baccalaureate program of Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Carbondale, has helped more than 1,000 students matriculate into medical or dental school since it began in 1972.

“The Milestone Ceremony impresses upon our students that this is a new start for their professional aspirations and that we already consider them professionals-in-training in MEDPREP,” said Anneke Metz, PhD, interim director of MEDPREP.

The event is modeled after the traditional “white coat” ceremonies held by medical and dental schools, which mark students’ formal start of their medical education. Second-year MEDPREP students, who serve as mentors, placed pins on the new students' lapels.

MEDPREP provides assistance to educationally and/or economically disadvantaged students by preparing them to achieve success in the health professions. Ninety-five percent of the MEDPREP student population is African-American or Hispanic, which the Association of American Medical Colleges has determined are underrepresented populations in medicine.

MEDPREP celebrated its 20th Milestone Ceremony, which is named for the late Shirley J. McGlinn. McGlinn taught biology at SIU for 39 years and was instrumental in the development of the MEDPREP Milestone Ceremony.

“Shirley was a wonderful advocate for our students who always made sure they believed in themselves,” said Metz.

Following the pinning ceremony, students pledged to act with integrity and honor, strive towards excellence, display compassion, respect their peers, help others and take responsibility for their learning. Speakers included Wes McNeese, MD, associate dean for diversity and inclusion, and Harold Bardo, PhD, past director of MEDPREP. Second-year MEDPREP student Sara Imam, MEDPREP Club president, also delivered remarks on behalf of the students.

“Through MEDPREP, I have grown into a much stronger and confident student, prepared for any challenges that may lay ahead in the journey to becoming a physician,” said Imam. Imam plans to apply for medical school, become a physician and research health care disparities among underserved populations.


The Medical/Dental Education Preparatory Program (MEDPREP) operates on a year-round basis, beginning in June of each year. Students complete the program in five semesters. MEDPREP, which currently accepts up to 36 students per year for the two-year program, aims to provide an environment in which students can hone their test-taking skills and enhance their academic record. With the assistance of their academic advisor, students tailor their academic program to maximize their profile for the medical/dental school application process.

MEDPREP is located on the campus of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. For more information about the program, visit

More Photos: Walls pins first-year student Karael Campbell.



                                                                                                                                                                                       Alex Worix pins first-year student Fernando Garcia-Ramirez.Caption Right: Nicole Walls pins first-year student Karael Campbell


Caption Left: Alex Worix pins first-year student Fernando Garcia-Ramirez


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