UC San Diego News Center


UC San Diego to Host Medical Education for Diverse Students Conference Jan. 26

The UC San Diego School of Medicine Telemedicine Building will host approximately 350 undergraduate students considering a career in medicine during the first-ever MEDS conference.

The University of California, San Diego is hosting its first-ever conference designed specifically for undergraduate students interested in medical or pharmacy school. Titled “Medical Education for Diverse Students,” or MEDS, the all-day conference will include keynote speakers and workshops on various components of the application process, as well as behind-the-scenes, hands-on experiences at the UC San Diego School of Medicine and Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. The conference will take place Saturday, Jan. 26, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the UC San Diego School of Medicine’s Medical Education and Telemedicine Building. The event is open to all undergraduate students in the San Diego region.

“One of our primary goals for this conference is to have students from underrepresented backgrounds acquire useful information about the  preparation and  persistence required to advance in these fields, as well as discover the societal,  professional and personal rewards that come with success in them,” said David Artis, dean of Undergraduate Research Initiatives at UC San Diego. “In the long term, we hope these efforts will help close the disparities seen in both medical education and health care professions.”

Workshops at the conference will cover aspects of the application process including writing personal statements, getting letters of recommendation and interviewing. In addition, students will have the opportunity to explore career opportunities and hear from current medical and pharmacy students. Interactive workshops include:

  • Mock Pharmacy and Tour – Participants will tour the Skaggs School building, including a stop at the mock pharmacy room where Skaggs representatives will give students an in-depth look at what a pharmacy education is like.
  • Pharmacy Patient Screening – Pharmacists today are no longer limited to filling prescriptions. Students will learn about the lesser-known aspects of pharmacy—from listening for heart rates to administering immunizations—and practice some of these tasks themselves.
  • Simulation Lab: Operating Room – In a mock operating room, UC San Diego doctors will provide demos and anecdotes to illuminate what goes on behind the hospital’s operating room doors.
  • Suture Clinic – Attendees will learn how to make proper incisions and suture a wound in this interactive and hands-on workshop.

“Many of our students come from communities where access to healthcare is a dire situation—and who better to understand that patient population than healthcare professionals from those communities?” said UC San Diego undergraduate Rachel Bruckman, who is a lead organizer of the event along with staff member Adele Savage. “Our goal is to help prepare students who are considering a career in medicine so that they can help not only themselves, but their communities.”

The MEDS conference is organized by UC San Diego’s undergraduate Health and Medical Professions Preparation Program (HMP3) under the university’s Academic Enrichment Programs. Support for the conference is provided by the UC San Diego School of Medicine and Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences as well as the UC San Diego Student Affairs Staff Innovation Fund. For more information, visit the MEDS conference website or email

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