Our signature program, the Summer Medical Academy (SMA) is an educational summer program that provides high school age students with unique and exciting opportunities to explore the world of medical training and practice. SMA is for students who have an interest in healthcare as a career, and to inspire those students to become caring, insightful health professionals in a complex and rapidly changing world. The program utilizes a mixture of lectures /interactive discussions, hands-on skills clinics, group projects, career panels, and team building/networking/self-care activities. Throughout the program, faculty, group mentors, and program staff encourage and support students to identify and reflect upon their interest and motivation for pursuing a career in healthcare. SMA is coordinated by the Rady Children’s Center for Healthier Communities in collaboration with a number of community partners, such as the UCSD School of Medicine, Illumina, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, the UCSD Skaggs School of Pharmacy, and the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine.
Learning, Doing, Sharing – During this 2-week intensive, learn about the wide range of possibilities in a healthcare career; gets hands-on experience through different skills clinics; hear about key topics in medicine from experts; and make connections with future colleagues.
Learn about the results of our two 2-week programs through the program summary below!
After completing our 6th year of programming, the Summer Medical Academy now has 334 program alumni and is consistently highly recommended by students. To learn more about the 2019 Summer Medical Academy and the experience of students who participated, watch our Graduation Celebration Videos below.
A Lifelong Impact.
One of the main goals of the Summer Medical Academy is to reinforce and/or increase our students’ interest in pursuing a career in healthcare. Additionally, we hope to educate our students about their options and what it takes to get into a career in healthcare. For our 2019 SMA students, 97.5% reported that the program did just that!
- “The most important thing I learned was that healthcare is the correct choice for me. This academy helped me confirm that the medical field is the right career for me by informing of what a life of a healthcare provider would be like and the steps to becoming one.”
- “I came into this program strongly envisioning my future as a doctor, specifically an OB/GYN. The most important thing I learned in this program is that I in fact DO NOT want to be a doctor, but I would still like to stay in the labor and delivery field, possibly a nurse.”
- “Honestly, I learned a lot about what I didn’t want to do with my life. That was really helpful because now I can really rule out a few careers and focus on things that I would want to do.”
99% of students who participated in the 2019 Summer Medical Academy also reported that they would recommend the program to a friend who was interested in healthcare!
Students shared that the program affected them personally and professionally as well, with many of them learning important lessons that will stay with them throughout their careers. In particular, they now know the importance of being open to the great and expansive world of healthcare and medicine.
- “The most important thing I learned was you have to love what you do and be willing to work hard.”
- “I learned about the power of networking and how essential it is in the health care industry.”
- “That my journey into the medical field doesn’t have to be a direct path and there is still plenty of time to narrow down my focus.”
- “The most important thing I learned was to not be afraid to ask questions and talk to people, especially the doctors and my peers.”
- “In my opinion the most important thing I learned was how involved all departments are, with all patients, every department works together to bring a patient the best results.”
- “I learned many important lessons during the Summer Medical Academy, but I believe the most important lesson, which most of the speakers reiterated, was that of self-care and love for the job. If you do not love the job, you cannot properly take care of patients. If you do not take care of yourself, you also can’t properly take care of patients.”
Coming into the program, many students were unsure of exactly what they were getting themselves into. Expectations were high, and we’re proud to share that 99.5% of all students reported that the 2018 Summer Medical Academy either exceeded or met their expectations.
- “All of the hands on activities were so much more than I expected.”
- “Amazing program able to let us get exposure to crazy medical experiences that many will never see!”
- “This camp was the best thing that I’m doing this summer! It was fun, informative, and really really interesting. I have opened my eyes to different possible careers in the healthcare field, and I hope to continue doing camps at Rady Children’s Hospital next year and beyond.”