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May 18, 1994

'Med Prep' College Course Helps High School Students Work Toward Dreams

JAMA. 1994;271(19):1467-1468. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510430019006

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A GLIMPSE of a perfect world, where highly diverse people come together, enjoy each other, share what's different about themselves, work hard, and move toward a common purpose. That's the characterization, apparently accurate as well as poetic, applied by a former codirector to the annual 5-week taste of a brighter future that goes by the prosaic name of Stanford Medical Youth Science Program (SMYSP).

Its goal is to facilitate the entry of academically talented, underserved, predominantly minority high school students into the health care professions.

The endeavor grew from a tutoring effort begun in 1987 by Mark Lawrence and Michael McCullough, undergraduates at Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif, who were struck by the economic and social disparity between the rich academic community and its predominantly poor, crime-ridden neighbor, East Palo Alto. Undergraduates were recruited not only to help high school students in that largely black and Hispanic community with their

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