Wednesday, December 14, 2011

FAU and FAMU Partner to Establish Medical Honors Program for Outstanding High School Seniors

BOCA RATON, Fla.  —The Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University has partnered with the Florida A&M University (FAMU) in Tallahassee to establish a first-of-its-kind Medical Honors Program (MHP) between the two institutions. FAU and FAMU have signed an affiliation agreement to formally establish the MHP with the overall goal of attracting and enrolling outstanding high school seniors who have made an early and informed decision to ultimately pursue a doctoral degree in the field of medicine. The primary goal of this program is to admit academically talented high school students to the MHP at FAMU, with a conditional acceptance to FAU’s College of Medicine. The students will have to successfully complete the MHP and satisfy the requirements of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC), American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) and FAU’s College of Medicine.

“We are very pleased to be working jointly with FAMU on the Medical Honors Program, which is distinguished by the strength of both our institutions,” said FAU President Mary Jane Saunders. “We will be able to offer aspiring doctors who excel academically with a competitive program that ensures a seamless route from undergraduate study to medical school.”

The MHP is a four-year curriculum, which will focus on professionalism, ethics, problem-based learning and inter-professional (team building, communication and leadership skills) education. MHP students will also be required to fulfill non-classroom extracurricular requirements such as clinical education, physician shadowing, working with patients in a hospital, clinic or physician’s office, and participating in health related community service.  The program is designed to enable students to gain an understanding of the intellectual, emotional and physical demands incumbent upon medical students, and to train socially conscious and humane physicians.

“Florida A&M University is excited to join forces with Florida Atlantic University in this endeavor,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons.  “The Medical Honors Program reinforces the commitment of both universities to identify and engage in strategies to meet the health needs of underserved populations. Through this program, the citizens of Florida will benefit as well as the MHP students.”

To be eligible for the MHP at FAU/FAMU, applicants must have an un-weighted high school average of at least 3.50, an SAT 1 composite minimum score of 1100 and must be in their last year of high school at the time of application. Up to ten total FAMU students will be admitted each year beginning in fall 2012. A MHP committee jointly composed of faculty from FAU and FAMU has been established to oversee the administration and admissions of this cooperative and integrated program. 

“Educating and training underrepresented students who are outstanding academically is critical to helping address our physician shortage in Florida and the U.S., and ultimately providing first-rate medical care among our underserved populations,” said Julie C. Servoss, M.D., M.P.H., assistant dean of diversity, cultural and student affairs in FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine and chair of the MHP committee.

According to the American Medical Association (AMA) in 2008, the total number of African-American physicians in the U.S. was 33,781 or 3.5 percent of the total physician population. Hispanic physicians in the U.S. total 46,507 or 4.9 percent of the total physician population.  

One of America’s newest medical schools, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at FAU  welcomed its inaugural class of 64 students in August. The College has developed a new and innovative curriculum, which features early and continuous community-based clinical experiences and problem-based learning with emphasis on small-group and self-directed learning. The curriculum includes a student-centered and patient-focused approach and clinical experiences with local physicians, health departments and hospitals, and a state-of-the-art simulation center. A key component of the innovative curriculum is early exposure to patients and the actual practice of medicine. To that end, the College has established relationships with several prominent area hospitals that are serving as sites for clerkships, hospital-based electives and residencies. During clinical trainings, students have the opportunity to work side-by-side with physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of patients, applying knowledge learned from the first two years of study to real-life situations.

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About Florida Atlantic University:
Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. In commemoration of its origin, FAU is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2011. Today, the University serves more than 29,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit

About Florida A&M University
Florida A&M University (FAMU) was founded on October 3, 1887, as the State Normal College for Colored Students.  Today, FAMU offers 52 bachelor’s degrees and 27 master’s degrees and one specialist degree program.  The university has 13 schools and colleges, and one institute.  FAMU has 11 doctoral degree programs including 10 Ph.D. degrees.   The Ph.D. degrees include the following: biomedical engineering; chemical engineering; civil engineering; electrical engineering; mechanical engineering; industrial engineering; pharmaceutical sciences; physics; educational leadership; and environmental science.

With a distinction as a doctoral research institution, Florida A&M University has an enrollment of more than 13,000 students.  Florida A&M University is part of the State University System of Florida and is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.  For more information, visit


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