The Office of Special Programs offers these main programs and initiatives specifically targeted toward minorities and disadvantaged students who are interested in health and allied health professions.
Each summer, our Medical Education Development (MED) program provides an opportunity for students from disadvantaged backgrounds to experience the rigors of the medical school curriculum while shadowing physicians, developing clinical skills through patient simulation, and participating in professional development seminars designed to enhance the student’s appreciation for and deepen their understanding of the medical professions.
The Office of Special Programs actively recruits throughout the state and the country at various recruitment fairs and presentations to pre-health clubs to recruit for the medical and dental schools at UNC School of Medicine and the MED program. In addition, our office hosts visiting school groups from the K-12th grade level leading educational workshops to expose students to various aspects of the health profession and provide student and administrative information panels for college groups who wish to visit our campus. We also host an open house each fall for students interested in attending medical or dental school and/or the MED program. Staff is also available to meet individually with students regarding their journey to medicine/dentistry.
In addition to recruitment, our office also provides pre-health advising and resources to any student. If you would like to make an appointment with one of our staff to discuss your application to medical or dental school or your current journey toward a health professional school, please see our contact page for more details. We also have a resources page (will soon be expanded) for parents and students with interests in a health profession.
The Hispanic Health Initiative focuses on the unique opportunities present throughout our state to empower Hispanic youth to navigate the educational path to medicine. Our initiative is student-driven by a dynamic and energized group of medical students who engage with the local and state-wide communities in efforts to promote health careers awareness and opportunities for Hispanic youth, in addition to helping underserved Latino communities.
Our office supports one of the largest Student National Medical Association chapters in the country. A diverse group of energetic and committed leaders, our SNMA supports and impacts the local community through health education fairs, community outreach through the Share-Your-Christmas Drive, HIV Awareness Campaign, and helps staff a local soup kitchen. In addition, SNMA also provides mentorship, education, and inspiration to elementary and high school students interested in medicine through the Health Professions Recruitment Exposure Program (HPREP) and Youth Science Enrichment Program (YSEP). These programs allow students from surrounding communities to learn about the sciences and careers in the medical field on the campus of UNC School of Medicine.