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MD Program

Student Diversity and Enrichment Pipeline Programs

Student & Community Engagement

Medical Science Skills Development Program

The Medical Science Skills Development (MSSD) program is a three-week pre-matriculation program for USF MCOM entering first-year medical and physical therapy students who may benefit from a review of the foundational medical sciences and an introduction to case- and problem-based learning.

Goals of the Program

Facilitate the adjustment of the health professions student to the academic environment of professional school.

Facilitate academic success in the medical curriculum via assessment and application of the following skills:

  • Time Management
  • Note-taking, study, and test-taking skills
  • Communication
  • Identifying learning issues
  • Identifying and formulating knowledge objectives
  • Researching new information

Provide a "jump start" for students to the curriculum and educational process of the medical school.

Program Components

The pre-matriculation program has three essential components that are integrated and applied in a didactic, small-group learning curriculum to prepare the health profession student for the Year 1 curriculum.

  1. Introduction to Medical Sciences curriculum – To review the essential building blocks of Biochemistry, Genetics, Immunology, Anatomy, and Neuroscience in preparation for the transition to Medical Sciences Courses 1a and 1b (Musculoskeletal Anatomy, Biochemistry and Cancer Biology), and Course 2 (Neurological Sciences). Each session will consist of 2 parts: introductory lectures and an engaged learning session reviewing the main concepts to foster a deeper understanding of the curriculum.
  2. Case-Based Learning – Each week, a patient-oriented case will be presented. Students must identify research and share learning issues necessary to solve the case. The cases are designed to encompass information from multiple basic science disciplines involved in the first two years of the medical school curriculum.
  3. Skill Assessment and Development – Each student will be evaluated for learning style, reading skills, test-taking skills, etc. The application and practice of these skills will be integrated with the didactic component. Additional practice and improvement will be provided through laboratory exercises and practice quizzes.

Preference will be given to students having the following experiences:

  • A first-generation college student
  • English as a second language
  • Economically disadvantaged
  • Non-traditional student (second career, returned to school after an absence, non-science major)
  • Differential learner
  • Learning-disabled (previously received testing accommodations)

Applicants accepted to USF Health Morsani College of Medicine will be provided the link to the online application. Email questions to Ms. Shirley B. Smith at