Students are encouraged to decide on a given concentration by the end of September in their first year. Three mechanisms are utilized for recruiting students: a faculty led introduction/orientation showcasing all concentrations, a 2-month open invitation for “group shopping opportunities” and a student-centered Round Robin event. Following these events, students submit their applications to the SCP and to the concentration of their choice. Applications to the concentrations are reviewed by the concentration leaders, representing both basic science and clinical disciplines.
The SCP has both ‘participation’ and ‘capstone project’ requirements. Graduation with a SCP designation is at the discretion of the Faculty Leader and the SCP Director.
The capstone (also referred to as the final project) requirement is a scholarly project that SCP students must complete and submit by February 1st of their fourth year. Students must gain approval for their capstone project from both their Faculty Leader and from the SCP Director(s). This capstone project must demonstrate scholarship. It may be original research, a paper, a presentation, or a service project and it should demonstrate the student’s growth through analytic, leadership, or creative processes.
Students work on their capstone projects throughout the 4 years of medical school. Specific opportunities for capstone work include the summer between Years 1 and 2 as well as designated elective times in Years 3 and 4. Capstone projects have included creating systems for better treatment of the underserved, developing learning modules for students in the MCOM pre-matriculation program, and improving systems to ensure patient safety. To date, students have published their SCP capstone projects in a variety of peer reviewed scientific journals and have presented their abstracts at national and local meetings.