Northeast Regional Alliance (NERA) MedPrep Scholars Program
The Northeast Regional Alliance (NERA) MedPrep Scholars Program is a partnership between Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai's Center for Multicultural and Community Affairs, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, and Manhattan-Staten Island Area Health Education Center.
The program uniquely builds on the collective expertise of four outstanding institutions to expand health careers preparation for minority and disadvantaged students from junior high school through medical school with the goal of increasing competitiveness for medical school. Ultimately, we expect that our scholars will have the humanism, professionalism, and interpersonal skills required of a future physician caring for a diverse population.
NERA MedPrep is a free summer enrichment program targeting traditionally underrepresented and/or economically disadvantaged New York City and New Jersey resident college freshmen and sophomores interested in attending medical school. MedPrep is a three-year summer commitment designed to give students an opportunity to develop key skills and competencies important to success on the MCAT and in medical school.
- Accepted New Jersey resident students begin the MedPrep Program at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
- Accepted New York resident students begin the MedPrep program at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons
- The MedPrep Program is best suited for candidates without summer obligations, as the program requires full-time participation
- Accepted students receive stipend support
- There is no application fee
MedPrep Phase 1
During the first summer, the scholar is immersed in an intensive academic program consisting of the development of verbal reasoning skills, biological and physical sciences, study strategies, and communication skills.
MedPrep 1 encompasses:
- Biological & Physical Sciences - Topics covered in subjects such as Organic Chemistry, Physics, General Chemistry, and Abnormal Psychology.
- Accelerated Learning Skills Course - Time allocated: 1) to evaluate a student's study habits, reading ability, thought processes, learning techniques, time management skills, exam preparation, and writing techniques; 2) to train a student in how to modify and improve in areas where deficiencies are detected; and 3) to verbal reasoning and enhancing the student's skill in navigating this section of the MCAT.
- Seminars cover specialties in medicine (i.e. Pediatrics, Surgery, Internal Medicine, OB/GYN, etc.) as well as medical research, the medical school application process, and public health issues.
- Counseling Sessions - Students have the opportunity to meet with a member of the Admissions team for tips to make themselves into more competitive applicants.
MedPrep Phase 2
During phase 2, scholars have an opportunity to experience the clinical setting and complete an intensive MCAT prep course designed to maximize their performance. For students that complete Phase 1 at Columbia, Phase 2 takes place at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
MedPrep 2 encompasses:
- MCAT Prep Course - The MCAT prep course provides students with the tools necessary to master the skills being tested on the MCAT examination. The course begins with a four-hour diagnostic test. A report is generated based on the results of this sample MCAT examination and allows students to identify areas of strengths and, more importantly, areas of improvement. Students are also evaluated midway and at the end of the program. Results of the individual evaluation are used to build upon the individual education plan in an effort to identify areas of academic and non-academic improvement. Each student receives home study books to also allow him/her to review and practice at their convenience.
- Clinical Component - Students present orally and provide a written report, based on a specific clinical experience, the following: a medical condition or procedure, its history, epidemiology, current treatment or use of a procedure, and cost-benefit/risks.
MedPrep Phase 3
During phase 3, scholars gain an understanding of how research impacts medical care.
MedPrep 3 encompasses:
- Research Component - Students are provided with research opportunities on health-related issues affecting underserved communities and be able to discuss in a written report and oral presentation a detailed description with illustrated examples the following: 1) the scientific method as it applies to the original investigation; 2) methods of data gathering, recording, analysis, and interpretation; 3) use of the Internet for literature retrieval; 4) communication of the results; and 5) specific techniques used to conduct the research. Through a series of seminars, students learn the responsible conduct of research, fundamentals of research design, including clinical trials, and considerations in the use of human subjects and animals in research, including the role of the Institutional Review Board (IRB). Students are also exposed to various medical specialties and, ultimately, gain a broader understanding of the numerous healthcare issues plaguing underserved communities.
- Getting Ready for Medical School - Students have counseling sessions with Admissions staff, practice mock admissions interviews, and have continued seminars on applying to medical school and professional skills.
Funded by the Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP) Grant no. D18HP10627 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration.
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