Michigan Health Sciences Career Development Academy

Important Dates

Application LIVE for CDA Program
Application Deadline
Program Start Date
Late May
Program End Date
Early August

General Program Information

MHSCDA participants in simulation lab

Number of participants: 15-20

Location: Online

Financial support: Stipend

The Institute is comprised to develop the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC Core Competencies.)  The CDA curricula are aligned to the core competencies that are fundamental to preparing students to be future healthcare professionals

Diversity is essential in addressing today’s health disparities - from the students who train to become tomorrow’s doctors, to the patients who will benefit from their research and care. The Michigan Health Sciences Career Development Academy is committed to exposing and preparing students for medical school in a diverse and inclusive environment. The CDA is designed for rising junior and senior undergraduates or recent graduates of an accredited college or university. In particular, the program focuses on preparing participants for the extensive process of applying and gaining admission into medical school.

As a participant, you will have the opportunity to attend workshops on:

  • American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) Preparation
  • Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) Preparation
  • Leadership and Professional Development
  • Health Equity and the Social Determinants of Health
  • Biomedical careers

Additionally, each participant will have shadowing opportunities, be assigned a student mentor, and be provided formal and informal opportunities to network with faculty and staff.  Participants will also have online access to MCAT materials until May, 2021.

Key Outcomes to be Expected

During the 10-week program, participants will:

  1. Have online Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) courses;
  2. Learn strategies to build productive relationships with peers, medical students and faculty mentors;
  3. Attend professional development workshops on topics such as professional communication, interviewing, resume/CV preparation, personal statement writing, medical ethics, and social determinants of health (SDoH);
  4. Gain exposure to a world-class clinical environment;
  5. Develop in the four competency domains defined by the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC): Interpersonal, intrapersonal, thinking and reasoning, and science competencies.

Program Modules

Modules are implemented throughout the 10-week program to meet the programmatic goals. These modules represent a collection of activities that the AAMC considers fundamental to developing future healthcare professionals. 



Each learner will receive online access to an MCAT course, which must be completed before the start of the of the program. The sessions includes three and a half hours of MCAT daily instruction for eight weeks from The Princeton Review. This enables learners to complete a full MCAT preparation course and take weekly diagnostic exams during the program. Learners have an opportunity to participate in a Mock Interview Day and have their questions about the admissions process answered by the U of M Medical School Office of Admissions. Additionally, learners will have access to a writing consultant to assist with their Curriculum Vitae, personal statements, and essays.



Students will be exposed to the challenging topics that are viewed as contributing to the social inequities and observable healthcare outcomes that impact society. These fundamental concepts are explored as the root cause of the experiences of  underserved populations in the United States. The content is introduced and explored with videos, articles, historical accounts, and personal reflections from the students and the instructor. The diverse composition of the class allows exploration of these topics from various racial, ethnic, and social economic perspectives. Students will also explore the impact of diversity given the future population projections of the US and the resultant impact on patient care, health outcomes, and the healthcare professionals of the future.


Learners will be provided knowledge and skills relevant to becoming a culturally competent healthcare professional through the following session topics and activities in partnership with the Program on Intergroup Relations (IGR) and Spectrum Center:

Entering Communities: Learners will engage in activities designed to encourage thinking around norms and expectations in their own communities and those that exist in others.

Introduction to Pronoun Usage & LGBTQ Identities: Learners will be encouraged to participate in dialogue addressing LGBTQ and Non-Binary Identities, to increase the future physicians’ social competencies regarding potential patients who fall within this spectrum.

Social Identity 101: Learners will be introduced to the concept of social identity and its influence on individuals, groups, and communities.

Communication Across Identities: Learners will be given opportunities to expand their thinking and skill-building around bringing identity into conversations and addressing conflicts related to social identity. Learners will be asked to engage in critical dialogue that help challenge and identity their own biases toward those different from themselves in a non-threatening manner.

Power and Oppression in Groups: Learners will spend time not only understanding how to mitigate and resolve situations that may be damaging, but also how group and power dynamics may create preference for some identities over others, as well as engage in thinking on how to identify and reduce these effects.



 Participants will develop and identify leadership and professional skills with a multi-session course on leadership and professional communication, etiquette and science communication. The adapted lessons from these sessions aim to increase understanding and awareness of the direct results of their actions, attitudes, and behaviors within formal and informal environments. 


  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident 
  • Have a valid U.S. social security number
  • Be a current junior up to a recent graduate (within the last three years) who are preparing to apply to medical school
  • Self-identify as educationally, socially, or economically disadvantaged and demonstrated commitment to serve underserved US populations.   
  • Have a minimum cumulative and science GPA of 3.2
  • Completed the following courses:
    • 2- Semesters of Chemistry with labs (i.e. inorganic, organic, general, and biochemistry)
    • 1- Semester of Physics
    • 2- Semesters of Biology with labs
    • 1- Semester of Math (i.e. possibly stats, comp. science, and calculus)

Applicants will also be evaluated based on the following:

  • Personal and academic accomplishments
  • Successful completion of biology and chemistry courses
  • A demonstrated interest in a career in medicine or biomedical research
  • Demonstrated commitment to helping underserved and vulnerable populations
  • Quality of academic recommendations
  • Responses to essay questions

Students may not take academic classes or be engaged in other activities that would prevent them from attending all training sessions and workshops.  This program is designed to be a full-time experience with scheduled workshops during normal working hours with regular evening and weekend activities. 

This program is open to all students with an interest in medicine and health equality.  Applicants from underrepresented groups in medicine, rural and socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Application Requirements

A completed application includes:

  • Submitted online application
  • Three letters of recommendation:
  • Two letters of recommendation from faculty members teaching science courses
  • One letter of recommendation from academic advisor or employer
  • Official or unofficial transcript from your institution(s)
  • Submitted essay responses



If you have any questions or concerns, please contact oheiprehealthprograms@umich.edu or call 734-763-7726