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College PSEP

books on the beach at summer

Pre-Health Summer Enrichment Program

PSEP is an intensive six-week full time summer program for highly motivated students who are interested in pursuing a career in the health professions.


  • Enhances the competitiveness of talented students from "underrepresented in medicine" populations or disadvantaged backgrounds for admissions into medical school and physical therapy schools;
  • Provides needed mentors for minority students;
  • Serves as a recruitment tool to USF Health.


The Program is designed for rising sophomore undergraduates interested in health profession careers in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, or physical therapy. To be eligible, students must have completed Biology I and II or Chemistry I and II; and have an overall GPA no less than 3.0. Applications whose overall GPA is less than 3.0 will not be considered.

In addition, applicants must meet ONLY one of the following criteria:

  • First generation college student.
  • Permanent address in a rural county within the state of Florida.
  • Low-income family. Meet the federal government poverty guidelines.
  • Self identify themselves as underrepresented in medicine. Per the Assoication of Medical Colleges, "underrepresented in medicine" is defined as African Americans, Mexican-Americans, Native Americans (that is American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians), and mainland Puerto Ricans.

Should you have questions about your eligibility, please contact Ms. Shirley Smith at

Educational Grant:

Students receive a $1,500 grant for participation in the PSEP program. The grant is paid out in two installments.

Application and Attachments:

2012 PSEP Application

The 2012 PSEP application (and attachments) must be received or postmarked by Friday, March 23, 2012. Submit via mail or hand deliver completed application packets to:

University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine
Office of Student Diversity & Enrichment
Attention: Shirley Smith, Director
12901 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., MDC 24
Tampa, FL 33612-4799

For questions regarding the program and/or application process please contact:
Shirley Smith
(813) 396-9944

Program Components:

  1. Academic Enhancement:

    • Science Skills: Participants will be provided the opportunity to review and enhance their comprehension of concepts in biology and general chemistry.
    • Verbal Reasoning and Writing Skills: Participants will be provided the opportunity to enhance their reading and reading inference skills as well as gain writing experience through personal essays and other assignments.
    • Health Disparities: Participants will explore the differences in health equity of various populations and the factors that may contribute to the disparity in health outcomes.

  2. Test Taking Strategies:

    • Participants will work closely with USF Student Learning Services Program faculty in the areas of reading skills, test taking skills, etc. Utilizing a proven model of metacognition and intentional learning, students utilize the results of such assessments to develop individualized plans to improve or enhance essential learning skills.

  3. Clinical Experience:

    • Participates will be paired with physicians in the local community and you will have the opportunity to develop an appreciation of the "real world of medicine or physical therapy" through weekly clinical experiences.

  4. Clinical Seminars:

    • Participants will take part in one hour per week of exposure to the "real world of medicine" through clinical topics such as health disparities, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and more.

  5. Workshop Series:

    • Participants will participate in weekly workshops on HIPAA, developing goals (vision), managing obstacles, study skills, time management, stress management, networking, admissions procedure, financial planning, and interviewing techniques.

On the left - PSEP Class of 2009 at Premier Community HealthCare Group, Inc. in Dade City with Marlene Hart, M.D, medical director (left front) and Kim Schuknecht, C.E.O. (left back).

Quotes from past PSEP students:

"I participated in PSEP mostly to improve my verbal reasoning skills for the MCAT and after taking the verbal reasoning and test taking skills sections of the program, I have seen an improvement. I am very grateful for this opportunity, especially the test taking skills section which helped me to re-analyze my outlook on the VR section and improve my score."

"PSEP has given me a lot of confidence and clearly clarifies what it means to be a PREMED."

"This program has really helped me learn more about what the medical profession is really about and how there is so much more to it then just knowing how to treat patients."

"As a student from another university, the students, faculty, physicians have all made me feel at home during the PSEP program. This program has allowed me to gain a lot of insight into the type of physician that I would like to be, and has helped clarify my path into that goal."