Breaking News
December 11, 2018 - Optimization of drug dose sizes can reduce pharmaceutical wastage
December 11, 2018 - Ultrarestrictive opioid prescribing strategy linked with reduction in number of pills dispensed
December 11, 2018 - PET scans to optimize tuberculosis meningitis treatments and personalize care, study finds
December 11, 2018 - Researchers aim to identify and target high blood pressure indicators
December 11, 2018 - Ezogabine treatment reduces motor neuron excitability in ALS patients, study shows
December 11, 2018 - One implant, two prices. It depends on who’s paying.
December 11, 2018 - Standardizing feeding practices improves growth trends for micro-preemies
December 11, 2018 - COPD Tied to Obesity in Male, Female Never-Smokers
December 11, 2018 - Flossing: Information for Caregivers
December 11, 2018 - Does breastfeeding hormone protect against type 2 diabetes?
December 11, 2018 - Krystal 2000 microplate design improves fluorescence and luminescence measurement
December 11, 2018 - FDA clears mobile medical app to help increase retention in recovery program for opioid use disorder
December 11, 2018 - Overcoming Challenges in High-Speed Centrifugation Experiments
December 11, 2018 - Study shows link between neighborhoods’ socioeconomic status and dietary choices
December 11, 2018 - Lower BMI before obesity surgery predicts greater post-operative weight loss, study finds
December 11, 2018 - Obesity May Be Driving Rise in Uterine Cancers
December 11, 2018 - Antioxidants may prevent cognitive impairment in diabetes
December 11, 2018 - Study discovers link between meditation and how individuals respond to feedback
December 11, 2018 - Researchers identify potential diagnostic tool for Alzheimer’s disease
December 11, 2018 - Oral cancer prognostic signature identified
December 11, 2018 - How Can I Find Out What Caused My Miscarriage?
December 11, 2018 - Novel personalized medicine tool for assessing inherited colorectal cancer syndrome risk developed
December 11, 2018 - Study uncovers 11 new genes associated with epilepsy
December 11, 2018 - Filling research gaps could help develop more disability-inclusive workplaces
December 11, 2018 - Cartilage tissue engineering brings good news for patients with cartilage defects
December 11, 2018 - Novel 3D printing workflow helps predict leaky heart valves
December 11, 2018 - Imagination can help overcome fear and anxiety-related disorders, shows study
December 11, 2018 - Are caries linked to political regime?
December 11, 2018 - Leader in Diabetes Clinical Trials Wins Naomi Berrie Award
December 11, 2018 - Scientists discover cellular mechanism that triggers pneumonia in humans
December 11, 2018 - Increasing mental health problems related to drug use in over 55’s
December 11, 2018 - High-intensity interval exercise could help combat cognitive dysfunction in obese people
December 11, 2018 - Annual flu shot can save lives of heart failure patients
December 11, 2018 - Researchers compare health outcomes for VA and non-VA hospitals
December 11, 2018 - Recommendations Developed for Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment
December 11, 2018 - Genetic analysis links obesity with diabetes, coronary artery disease
December 11, 2018 - Study shows that having genetic information can affect how the body responds
December 11, 2018 - UNAIDS Report: 9 Million Are Likely HIV Positive And Don't Know It
December 11, 2018 - Lund University researchers succeed in obtaining dendritic cells by direct reprogramming
December 11, 2018 - Breast tumors recruit bone marrow cells to boost their growth, study reveals
December 11, 2018 - Updated breast cancer screening guideline highlights importance of shared decision-making
December 11, 2018 - EHR-related stress associated with physician burnout
December 11, 2018 - AHA: 12-Year-Old Heart Defect Survivor Inspires NFL Player’s Foundation
December 11, 2018 - Breast cancer patients who take heart drug with trastuzumab have less heart damage
December 11, 2018 - Providing aid to those humans – and animals – affected by the California fires
December 11, 2018 - Even without proof, CBD is finding a niche as a cure-all
December 11, 2018 - Drawing leads to better memory than writing
December 11, 2018 - Researchers report novel findings on plant hormone
December 10, 2018 - A Tale of Two Labels
December 10, 2018 - Triple combination cancer immunotherapy improves outcomes in preclinical melanoma model
December 10, 2018 - A 14-year-old explains what it’s like to get a new heart
December 10, 2018 - Team Players Honored with 2018 Baton Awards
December 10, 2018 - Global report highlights how the changing world is affecting children’s physical activity levels
December 10, 2018 - Genes play a role in physical activity and sleep
December 10, 2018 - DDT in Alaskan fish shown to increase risk of cancer
December 10, 2018 - Laws to curb use of cell phones have greatly reduced fatalities for motorcyclists
December 10, 2018 - Argenx Provides Detailed Data from Phase 2 Clinical Trial of Efgartigimod in Immune Thrombocytopenia and Phase 1/2 Clinical Trial of Cusatuzumab in Acute Myeloid Leukemia
December 10, 2018 - University of Maryland doctors treat first breast cancer patients with GammaPod radiotherapy
December 10, 2018 - The heartbeat seat: Demoing new well-being technologies in a car
December 10, 2018 - Leading Cancer Researcher to Direct Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center
December 10, 2018 - Researchers explore how glial cells develop in the brain from neural precursor cells
December 10, 2018 - Study compares pain-related diagnoses in First Nations and non-First Nations children, youth
December 10, 2018 - Experts address sleep disorders following traumatic brain injury
December 10, 2018 - Scientists find answers to how cancer spreads
December 10, 2018 - Study explores why older people read more slowly
December 10, 2018 - Smart life-collar could save lives of young children
December 10, 2018 - Asbestos found in most NHS hospitals finds BBC inquiry
December 10, 2018 - Researchers use new technique to probe hydrogen bonds
December 10, 2018 - Music improves social communication in autistic children
December 10, 2018 - Some Brain Tumors May Respond to Immunotherapy, New Study Suggests
December 10, 2018 - Banning junk food ads to combat childhood obesity
December 10, 2018 - Skin Autofluorescence Predicts T2DM, Heart Disease, Mortality
December 10, 2018 - Largest autism sequencing study to date yields 102 genes associated with ASD
December 10, 2018 - Statins associated with low risk of side effects
December 10, 2018 - Episodic memory tests help in predicting brain atrophy and Alzheimer’s disease
December 10, 2018 - Study explores how schools address adolescent self-harming practices
December 10, 2018 - Pregnancy in adolescence linked to increased risks of complications in young mothers
December 10, 2018 - Risk Analysis publishes special issue on communicating about Zika virus
December 10, 2018 - Botox May Help Prevent Post-Op A-Fib
December 10, 2018 - African-American mothers rate boys higher for ADHD
Summer med program embraces low-income students’ potential

Summer med program embraces low-income students’ potential

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Each summer, 24 low-income high school students travel from counties across Northern California and move onto the Stanford campus. For five weeks, and at no cost, they live together, bond with their classmates and Stanford undergraduate counselors, and dive into a whirlwind curriculum packed with medical lectures, labs, hospital internships and workshops on college admissions.

The Stanford Medical Youth Science Program has been making this experience possible for 30 years. This summer, the program will pass 700 alumni — just one measure of the huge impact it has had on students and communities that might otherwise face insurmountable barriers to education and careers in medical and health science.

For my recent story about the program, I joined the students and counselors for several activities during their second week: a Jeopardy-style curriculum-quiz game, a hands-on human anatomy lab, workshops on health disparities and race and ethnicity, and a group activity at the residence where students could share their thoughts and feelings on a topic and begin to trust and connect with each other. It was easy to see why so many Stanford undergraduates, medical students, faculty mentors, physician-scientist lecturers, and hospital staff are drawn to participate in and support the program.

Almost everyone I spoke to mentioned how important the feeling of bonding was for students and counselors alike. “This is a program for students who are low-income, who often experience high levels of adversity,” said Alivia Shorter, executive director of the program. “And for counselors, it’s not just a summer job. It’s a transformative experience for counselors, too, many of whom come from a similar background and see that a mentor really changed their lives, and they want to now do that for someone else.”

Shorter understands, because she, too, came to Stanford from a low-income childhood in the Salinas Valley area. Before coming to Stanford, she said, she had never met a single person who had gone to college. In 2008, after her sophomore year at Stanford, she served as a counselor in the program.

The founder of the program, Marilyn Winkleby, MPH, PhD, now a professor emerita of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, has mentored many alumni for years after they finish the program, supporting them as they navigate the academic and professional worlds. “When I came to Stanford, given my background, I had to learn to walk in the world of Stanford. And that was challenging,” Winkleby, who grew up on a two-acre farm in Vista, California, told me. “We’re empowering these students to know that you can walk in both worlds. We’re empowering them to know that they’re smart, they belong in college and we need them in health careers.”

Homar Murillo, 17, a rising senior from Leadership Public High School in Hayward, meanwhile, had this to say: “I expected study, study, study, study, and no one talking to each other. But you walk into these doors and it’s like you have a whole new family. I’ve never gotten so close to people as I have in this program. I haven’t had so much academic support with people I barely know.”

The intersection of academic rigor and personal support reinforces the students’ chances of success. And the results are undeniable: In California, where 80 percent of students who fail to complete high school are low-income, the Stanford Medical Youth Science program helps shift the statistics: Close to 100 percent of participants in the program graduate from high school, and just over 80 percent graduate from a four-year college. More than 50 percent of students in the program either enter the health professions or pursue advanced graduate degrees and later enter careers as clinicians or in other areas of health.

While the program benefits the students personally, it also has the potential to influence the many classmates and family members who’ve been cheering them on from home. “We can only touch 24 lives each summer. But the students take home so much,” Shorter pointed out. “They’re changing their communities the day they go home. It doesn’t just happen years from now when they become doctors. We don’t have to wait for them to be leaders. They are leaders right this very second.”

Photo by Steve Fisch

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles