Western University of Health Sciences Learning Enhancement & Academic Development (LEAD) Western University of Health Sciences
Learning Enhancement & Academic Development (LEAD)

Summer Medical Sciences Prep Program (SMSPP)

Purpose and Objectives

The Summer Medical Sciences Prep Program (SMSPP) is a five-week program that provides an opportunity for incoming WesternU students to prepare for the rigors of their chosen professional program.The purpose of the program is to prepare incoming students for the rigors of their chosen program by providing an introduction to applicable courses in an Interprofessional setting.

For students selecting the five week program, the first three and a half weeks will be focused on Gross and Head & Neck Anatomy.  During this part of the program, morning sessions will be devoted mostly to small group discussions in the anatomy lab.  In the afternoon there will be didactic lectures on the content reviewed in the lab followed by small group discussions.  You will have extensive exposure to cadavers in the anatomy lab. At the midpoint and end of the Gross Anatomy section you will be given two written and two practical exams for Gross Anatomy that are very similar in style to the exams you will be taking in the fall semester.

Other program specific courses will be taught during the last week and a half of the program on a rotating basis.  Instruction will emphasize the key concepts underpinning the basic principles in each subject.  Didactic lectures with question-answer periods will comprise these sessions.  OMM will also include hands-on training in the OMM lab. Brief quizzes will be given at the start of most lectures.

Besides the subject content instruction, a series of study skills workshops will be offered throughout the program.  They will address problems that can occur when students find themselves over-whelmed with the information explosion and time constraints of a health profession school.  Practical methods to improve study skills, test-taking strategies and stress and anxiety management will be taught.  Members of the Learning Enhancement and Academic Development (LEAD) Office will conduct the workshops.

Nearly all faculty notes and PowerPoint slides will be available on Blackboard, a software program which students can access using the WesternU internet portal. If you have a laptop computer, we recommend that you bring it with you to the program. A special training session will be done on the first day of the program about how to access and use the Blackboard software. If you do not have a laptop, you can use ones that are available at different locations on campus, such as the library, students commons etc.


Time Commitment

It is imperative that you are prepared to dedicate at least eight hours each day in the classroom and an additional 2-3 hours each evening in preparation for the next day for the entire five weeks of the program.  Statistical evidence shows that students who devote the necessary time and take the program seriously do well in medical school.  The material you master in this program will save you time and energy during the first semester of medical school.  If there is one overriding goal of the program it is to improve your knowledge of these topics and thus improve your grades in medical school.  Students who have other commitments during the SMSPP program are encouraged not to apply.