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Since 1989, the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine (CWRU) has conducted a six-week summer enrollment program designed to assist capable and highly motivated minority students in preparing for a career in medicine and in dentistry. The free Case Summer Medical Dental Education Program (SMDEP) is designed to enrich students who are completing their freshman or sophomore year of college and are considering professional careers in medicine and dentistry. SMDEP targets students from communities that are historically underrepresented in medicine and dentistry: African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and others who are economically disadvantaged. All are welcome to apply.
For 25 years, the Case SMDEP has helped committed students prepare for medical school, and more recently dental school as well.
SMDEP is a free six-week summer program, offering eligible students intensive and personalized medical and dental school preparation. In addition, students get a look at their future in either field by shadowing physicians and dentists in their clinical environment at a busy teaching hospital. A well established and well respected academic enrichment program, SMDEP is offered at eleven other sites around the country.
SMDEP (previously known as Minority Medical Education Program) celebrated its 25th anniversary on December 3-6, 2014, with all 12 SMDEP sites at the SMDEP annual conference held in Washington DC. CWRU School of Medicine is one of few universities that offered SMDEP since its creation, 25 years ago.
SMDEP is a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) whose mission is to improve the health of all Americans. This mission is fulfilled through a number of venues, including providing grants to support initiatives that aim to address society's most pressing health problems. RWJF first launched Summer Programs for Premed Students in 1989 to address the nation's continuing need for a diverse physician workforce. In 2006 the program expanded to include preparation for careers in dentistry. Medicine and dentistry still offer some of the most professionally and personally satisfying careers in our society. Yet, today, Blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans, are still underrepresented in the medical and dental professions. While these groups make up nearly 25% of the U.S. population, they represent only 9% of the nation's doctors. By helping minority and disadvantaged students become more competitive candidates for medical and dental school, SMDEP aims to increase the number of physicians and dentists from these backgrounds