Michigan Health Sciences Career Development Academy

Important Dates

Application LIVE for CDA Program
Review of submitted applications starts:
Thursday, February 3, 2022 
Program Start Date
May 31, 2022
Program End Date
August 6, 2022

General Program Information

MHSCDA participants in simulation lab

Number of participants: 20 students per cohort 

Location: Hybrid (2 weeks online followed by 8 weeks on campus) 

Financial support: Stipend, housing and meal allowance provided 

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 (MHSCDA) is committed to exposing and preparing students for medical school in a diverse and inclusive environment. The MHSCDA 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. The curriculum is aligned to the AAMC Core Competencies 


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 

  • Healthcare Professions 

Additionally, participants will be provided with shadowing opportunities, medical student mentors, and formal and informal opportunities to network with faculty and staff.  Participants will also have online access to MCAT materials for up to one year. 


  • 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 

  • Applicant must demonstrate a socioeconomic disadvantage, educational disadvantage or desire to work in underserved communities 

  • 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: 

  • Demonstrated development relative to the AAMC Core Competencies

  • Personal and academic accomplishments 

  • Successful completion of biology and chemistry courses 

  • Demonstrated interest in a career in medicine or biomedical research 

  • Demonstrated leadership and commitment to helping underserved populations 

  • Strength of letters of recommendation 

  • 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 allstudents with an interest in medicine and health equality.  Applicants from underrepresented groups in medicine, rural and socioeconomically 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) 

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 include over 300 hours of MCAT coursework. This enables learners to complete a full MCAT preparation course with diagnostic and full-length practice 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 University of Michigan Medical School Office of Admissions. Additionally, learners will have access to a writing consultant to assist with components (e.g. personal statements) of their medical school applications. 



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. 


If you have any questions or concerns, please contact oheiprehealthprograms@umich.edu(link sends e-mail) or call 734-763-7726 


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