Greetings from the Summer Health Professions Education Program National Alumni Advisory Board and the National Program Office!

The SHPEP National Alumni Advisory Board is comprised of former scholars of the Minority Medical Education Program (MMEP), the Summer Medical Education Program (SMEP), and the Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP).

Countless scholars have participated in the program since its inception in 1989. Program alumni serve as undeniable proof of the program’s overall success and remains evident in the history of the program’s evolution.

The SHPEP Connect is a quarterly newsletter created by the national alumni advisory board members. The SHPEP Connect offers resources and educational opportunities year-round! Therefore, we encourage all of our scholars to subscribe to the quarterly newsletter for important tips and tools towards a bright and successful future in the health professions.


Welcome from the Board Chair

Dr. Karen S. Morris-Priester

Do you remember how you felt on the first day of the program as you sat with dozens of strangers who had given up six weeks of their summer in exchange for information that you all hoped would improve your chances of getting into medical or dental school?  Do you remember the close relationships you forged during that summer and the desire to stay in touch with each other after the course ended?  How about the desire to help each other succeed no matter what?  Well, we do.  It was this desire that led me and my fellow board members to join the Alumni Advisory Board.  If you are reading this article then one of our key initiatives as a Board has finally come to fruition – the inaugural edition of the alumni newsletter.

The Alumni Advisory Board was convened in 2012 by the National Program Office (NPO) and tasked with advising the NPO on ways to enhance alumni engagement, identify opportunities to reach the target population, and improve overall activities of the program.  With these goals in mind, the Board identified several key areas we thought would be the most beneficial to you, our fellow alumni.  We have established a mentoring program through and have planned and supported alumni outreach efforts at sites across the county.

In addition to the SHPEP Connect Newsletter, mentoring programs, and alumni events, we are excited to announce the establishment of the Rubins J. Pamies, MD Scholarship Fund.  The scholarship and its mission – “Paying it forward to our aspiring health professionals” is a tribute to the life and legacy of the late Dr. Pamies who worked tirelessly to fight health disparities locally, nationally, and internationally.  Dr. Pamies was a guiding light in the Program as well as a key figure in the struggle to bring about a more diverse and inclusive healthcare workforce.  The scholarship was conceived by the Board as a means to assist participants with fees associated with medical, dental, or graduate school applications and/or test preparation courses.  Additional information on the scholarship will be provided in upcoming issues of the newsletter and on the SHPEP website.  If, like us, you found the program (SHPEP, SMDEP, SMEP, or MMEP) to have been helpful to you, I ask you to consider donating to the scholarship now or in the future.  Help us help other alumni by donating at:

Thank you for pausing from your busy schedule to check out the SHPEP Connect.  Through the newsletter, we hope to keep you informed and engaged with the alumni community as well provide you with additional resources that will help you reach your career goals.  If you have any ideas on ways in which we can better assist you or have suggestions for newsletter topics, please drop us a line.  We are all ears.

The Board looks forward to serving you and advocating for your needs.

Karen S. Morris, MD

MMEP, Yale 2001