The Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania is expanding its Penn Access Summer Scholars (PASS) Program to include five historically Black educational institutions.
PASS, launched in 2008, is a pathway program for students from underrepresnted groups to experience the medical school environment firsthand while building supportive networks. The selective program provides two summers of research for students with a goal of preparing them to matriculate into medical school. In addition to conducting research, PASS students shadow physicians, visit student-led community clinics, and participate in a variety of enrichment experiences that prepare them for the transition to medical school, foster their professional development, and cultivate supportive relationships with their peers, staff, and faculty mentors.
Since its inception, 89 percent of students who have completed PASS, have attended or are attending medical school, with 78 percent enrolling at the Perelman School of Medicine.
Originally for students enrolled at nearby institutions – Haverford College, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, and Bryn Mawr College – the program will now include students from Howard University, Morehouse College, Oakwood University, Spelman College, and Xavier University of Louisiana.
“The PASS Program provides a powerful, invaluable experience for undergraduates; engaging students with each other and faculty, and connecting them to research activities as they begin their journeys toward medical careers,” said Suzanne Rose, senior vice dean for medical education at the University of Pennsylvania medical school. “Innovative, proven programs like PASS can help increase diversity among our future physicians.”