Program Contact

Contact: Dawn Fizer

Phone Number: 205.996.2978 or 205.934.7975


Program Information

Location: University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL


Start/End Dates: June 15, 2020 - July 10, 2020

Academic Credit: No


The Summer Health Professions Education Program is a partnership between the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Medicine (SOM), School of Dentistry (SOD), School of Optometry (SOO), and School of Health Professions (SHP), home to the Physician Assistant program. The program goal is to increase diversity in health professions by recruiting and preparing underrepresented minority and disadvantaged students for successful educational experiences and careers in health care. Scholars will be offered multiple components:

1) Didactic instruction on heath science topics, Scientific Writing, and Critical Reasoning;

2) Lectures on health disparities and determinants of health outside of the clinical encounter;

3) Clinical exposure and shadowing, as well as community-based experiences, including primary health  care in underserved populations;

4) Career development activities with one-on-one sessions and mock interviews;

5) Interprofessional simulated patient care experiences;

6) Workshops on study skills, life skills, time management skills, and financial literacy; and

7) Leadership development exercises and team-building skills. In addition, the rich history of Birmingham will be leveraged to highlight the importance of diversity and inclusion.

Clinical Experience: The Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) will expose scholars to a combination of clinical exposure, shadowing, and interprofessional experiences. Scholars will participate in weekly preceptorship pairings with health professionals in the field to provide real-time, real-world clinical experiences. Clinical exposure is accomplished by providing both individual experiences and small group clinical rotations that involve observational learning in a clinical setting with real and simulated patients. Community-based experiences will be incorporated, including primary health care services, and health promotion and disease prevention education to underserved, high-risk populations. Scholars will also be engaged in interprofessional case-based presentations and weekly interprofessional simulated patient care experiences where they will collaborate across health disciplines to care for a simulated patient.


Meals: Students will receive a meal plan allowance of $127 per week on a University ID card to use at UAB’s “Commons on the Green” dining facility which provides a variety of freshly prepared meal options and is open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The meal card can also be used at participating restaurants in the campus area. Lunch lectures will take place twice per week.

Travel Assistance: Round-trip coach airfare paid up to $500.  Program will purchase the airline ticket in advance; should the student decide not to attend the program, the student is responsible for paying the airline cancellation fee.  If the student chooses to purchase his or her own ticket, reimbursement is mailed to the student within 30 days after the last day of the program.  Should student plan to drive; car travel from 60+ miles away will be paid up to $300 (at 0.58 cents per mile).  This reimbursement is mailed to the student within 30 days after the last day of the program.

Stipend: Stipends of $600 per student will be disbursed in two $300 installments at the completion of weeks 2 and 6.


Housing: University of Alabama at Birmingham dormitories.

Health Insurance: The UAB Student and Health Wellness (SHW) Center provides medical and counseling services to all UAB undergraduate and graduate students, regardless of insurance coverage. Student Health Services include primary care, acute and chronic care, women’s health, basic mental health evaluation and treatment, immunizations and treatment of minor emergencies. Additional services include diagnostic lab testing, x-ray services and after hours consultation which is available 24/7. RWJ Scholars will have equitable access to care. For scholars who do not have major medical coverage, It would be advantageous for students to request coverage through Student Health at their respective institutions prior to completing their academic year to review costs and availability.  VIVA Health offers the option to purchase short term coverage that will be covered by the program site at a much higher rate. Contact UAB Student Health and Wellness for more information: (

Social Activities: Social and extracurricular activities are planned throughout the program.