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Stanford Medical Youth Science Program: 7 Reasons To Apply

The Stanford Medical Youth Science Program (SMYSP) is a comprehensive academic enrichment initiative designed for students from underrepresented backgrounds with limited financial resources. Spanning a duration of five weeks, you will actively participate in an array of activities, including faculty lectures, workshops for professional development, networking events with Stanford Medicine professionals, and a dedicated research project focused on public health disparities.


Throughout the program and beyond, you will receive invaluable mentorship from esteemed faculty members, healthcare professionals, and college students, guiding you in college preparation, navigating medical career pathways, and fostering your leadership abilities in the present. Examples of research projects include addressing racial inequities in COVID-19 health outcomes, examining low birth outcomes for African American mothers, and combatting language barriers in hospital settings.


The SMYSP, one of the many Stanford Pre-Collegiate Studies, works towards advancing the education of academically motivated and intellectually curious pre-college students. The 2023 program will be held on the Stanford campus from June 23 to July 28, 2023. Additionally, applications for the Summer 2023 program were open from December 15, 2022 - March 15, 2023 to high school juniors from central and northern California.


SMYSP faculty review all applications and invite up to 60 finalists to interview. Interviews will be held late April through early May and final admissions decisions will be sent no later than mid-May 2023.


Here are seven reasons why you should apply to join the Stanford Medical Youth Science Program -


1. SMYSP is accessible for low income families

SMYSP is tuition free to provide better access for aspiring first-generation college students. SMYSP, along with Stanford’s other Pre-Collegiate Studies, are dedicated to aiding future generations of students to grow as both scholars and people by leveraging Stanford University’s world-class resources.


In fact, all admitted students will receive a $1250 clinical research stipend. There is a caveat, however, in that housing and transportation are not provided by the program and participants are required to live with a family member or legal adult guardian during the program.


2. SMYSP fosters a diverse learning environment

Because of its emphasis on accessibility for low-income families, SMYSP fosters an environment for students from diverse cultural backgrounds and first generation students. By bringing together high school students from various backgrounds and communities, SMYSP allows for cross-cultural exchange, collaboration, and the opportunity to develop a strong network with peers who share a passion for medicine and science.


Creating and cultivating an inclusive and multicultural learning environment is an important and unique aspect of SMYSP that sets them aside from many other pre-college summer programs.


3. SMYSP is hosted on Stanford’s campus

The name “Stanford” is a prestigious one in the world of health and medicine. Attending SMYSP will put you within close proximity with some of the best medical minds in the world, along with two weekly lectures covering human anatomy with Stanford medical student instructors. Attending SMYSP also provides students with hands-on opportunities in both laboratory and departmental activities. Gaining access to such advanced technology, along with the practice involved, is a unique opportunity that you can avail from a summer program at Stanford.


4. SMYSP participants are offered internships at Stanford Hospital

As a member of the SMYSP, you will be placed in hospital internships throughout Stanford Hospital. In addition to what the SMYSP lectures will teach you in health and medical science, you will also have the opportunity to engage in practical experiences encompassing different facets of healthcare delivery. These include hands-on laboratory and departmental activities, shadowing opportunities for observation, and direct interaction with patients. This holistic approach ensures that students gain comprehensive exposure to the multifaceted aspects of the healthcare field in a safe and supportive environment.


Through hands-on activities, shadowing experiences, and both formal and informal discussions, these internships offer valuable exposure to diverse health and medical professions. Moreover, the opportunity to observe in a real hospital setting will help you cultivate the confidence needed to thrive in the fields of science and medicine while also enhancing your university applications.


5. SMYSP provides you with a robust preparation for the future

Following the two weekly anatomy lectures with Stanford medical student instructors, you will also participate in a weekly academic planning workshop in preparation for applying to college in the fall of 2023. Academic planning workshops include creating a college action plan, applying for financial aid, discussing what admissions officers look for, and writing college essays.


Learning and utilizing application insights from Stanford Medical School students and staff will help with writing applications and essays while also easing the stress of having to accomplish such a large feat on your own. Having this insight will also set your application apart from other students and prepare you for application season.


6. SMYSP connects you with like-minded peers and mentors in the medical field

SMYSP students attend Stanford Medicine networking events and participate in weekly guest lectures, tours, and demonstrations from the Stanford medical community. Potential guests include experts from the fields of Dermatology, Anesthesiology, Life Flight, Gastroenterology, Ophthalmology, and more.


SMYSP creates opportunities for you to forge lasting friendships and establish support systems that extend well beyond the conclusion of the summer program. A team of mentors and counselors are there to empower you, assisting in building self-assurance, devising strategic college action plans, and unlocking your full potential.


7. SMYSP gives you the opportunity to work on a research project

SMYSP provides students the opportunity to work on a health disparities group research project to improve health and health access to all communities. Working with small groups, you and your teammates will write a college-level research paper, presentation, and academic poster. This practice will set you up for future university projects, while also enhancing your university applications and resume.

Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you are passionate about research and would like to do it from the comfort of your home, you could also consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students I founded with researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 2100 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here.


Mandy Brenner is a current junior at Harvard University. She is concentrating in History and Literature and loves to read and write in her free time.


Image Source: SMYSP logo


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