Welcome to the LSU-Health Sciences Center-New Orleans, Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, and Public Health Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP)

Contact Information

Executive Project/Program Director

Dr. Allison Augustus-Wallace, PhD, MS, MNS

Phone Number: (504) 568-3044/(504) 568-8501

Email: awall1@lsuhsc.edu


Program Information

Important Dates: December 1, 2017: Application opens ; February 15, 2018 Application Deadline



The LSUHSC-New Orleans, Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, and Public Health Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) is a free, academic summer enrichment program supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The program is designed to improve access to information and resources for college students attending either four-year or community college institutions, who are interested in the health professions. The goal of SHPEP is to support the academic and career development of underrepresented/underserved, and/or rural, and/or disadvantaged students in the health professions, thereby preparing them for a successful application and matriculation to health professions schools. Students of focus include, but are not limited to, individuals who identify as African American/Black, Native American/American Indian, Alaska Native, and Hispanic/Latino, and/or who are from communities of socioeconomic and educational disadvantage. Formerly known as the Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP), the SHPEP was expanded in 2016 to include a broader scope of health professions.

Eligibility Requirements

All students who meet the Summer Health Professions Education Program eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply. Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a college freshman or sophomore at the time of application (no more than 60 credit hrs. earned by the completion of spring 2018)
  • Have a minimum overall GPA of 2.5
  • Be a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident, or an individual granted deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) status by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • Not have previously participated in the program.

Other factors for consideration include that a student:

  • Identifies with a group that is racially/ethnically underrepresented in the health professions;
  • Comes from an economically or educationally disadvantaged background; and/or
  • Has demonstrated an interest in issues affecting underserved populations.
  • Submits a compelling personal statement and a strong letter of recommendation from your pre-health advisor or a college professor within your major field of study.

Next Steps to Apply 


Tentative Program Site Start/End Dates: May 21- June 29, 2018

Overview: The Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) at LSUHSC-New Orleans is strongly committed to increasing the number of students from underrepresented/underserved, rural, and/or disadvantaged backgrounds who are skilled, confident, and motivated to remain and succeed in challenging academic programs/majors that are designed to support health sciences careers. Therefore, our program will incorporate our Health Sciences Center’s Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, and Public Health, with support from our Center for Interprofessional Education & Collaborative Practice (CIPECP) and our HBCU partner Xavier University at Louisiana, College of Pharmacy. The skills that will be addressed support the development of inter/intrapersonal, critical thinking, and reasoning competencies, as well as science competencies as defined by the AAMC, but are also relevant to all health professions disciplines. Our program content is crafted around academic enrichment in selected gateway undergraduate basic science and quantitative courses, such as Organic Chemistry, Physics, Anatomy & Physiology, Microbiology, and the Introduction to Biostatistics & Epidemiology, as well as topics such as the Introduction to Public Health and Health Policy. Additionally, our program provides professionalism skills and knowledge development in areas of cultural competency, health equity, and National Program Office (NPO)-directed professional careers’ financial planning, as well as social determinants of health, medical ethics, and patient quality initiatives.

Clinical Experience: Scholars will experience limited clinical exposure through seminars and shadowing of highly experienced clinicians in small-group clinical rotations in medicine and dentistry. Additionally, the Clinical Simulation Laboratory Experiences in Small Learning Groups will introduce scholars to clinical reasoning and practice of patient history taking and healthcare interactions with patients, through role playing. Furthermore, students will be provided the opportunity to study the cardiovascular system from the points of view of public health (chronic disease); medicine & clinical skills integration, dentistry w/clinical skills integration, and pharmacogenetics (in collaboration with our HBCU partner Xavier University of Louisiana, College of Pharmacy). Per our National Program Office (NPO) requirements, clinical experiences represent 5% of the overall of programmatic experience.

Academic Credit: Yes (upon request), for the program collectively and not for the individual mini-courses provided. (***The home undergraduate institution may possibly accept SHPEP as a science elective course or as an internship, but it is EXCLUSIVELY the decision of the home institution to accept or not to accept SHPEP in the manner that it chooses and if it chooses to do so.) Both a LSUHSC-NO Certificate of Participation (from our LSUHSC-NO, Office of the Registrar) and LSUHSC-NO SHPEP course syllabi, in addition to the RWJF SHPEP Certificate of Participation, will be provided upon the completion of the program, to submit to your home undergraduate institution. 

Programmatic Schedule: Classes (Didactic, Simulation Laboratories, Clinical Exposures, Workshops, and Small Learning Groups) will be held Monday through Friday, from 7 AM until 5:30 PM; several clinical experiences that occur in our UMC Hospital will begin at 6 AM. 

Dress Code: Business Casual; No shorts, no mini-skirts, no T-shirts, no sweat-suits, no hoodies, and no flip-flops are to be worn during programmatic hours, Monday through Friday, 6 AM until 5:30 PM or during programmatic activities that will occur during specified evenings and/or weekends. Scrubs will be provided for Clinical Experiences and Simulation Laboratories. 



Stipend Distribution Schedule: 3 Installments (upon arrival during orientation Week 1, Week 4, and Week 6).

Travel Assistance: Round-trip coach airfare or economy train fare paid up to $500; financial assistance for car travel will be available for participants traveling from outside of the New Orleans area, however, not within the New Orleans area. All travel plans are to be made by our site, therefore, please contact Program Director. Travel plans made independently will NOT be reimbursed.



TBA (Specifics to be announced; dormitories either at LSUHSC-NO or Xavier University of Louisiana, New Orleans, LA (collaborating partner)



LSUHSC-NO, Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, and Public Health,  New Orleans, LA 70112


Living Conditions

Meals: Debit cards will be provided to all participants for their use in the LSHSC-NO dining hall, 7:30 AM to 2 PM, Monday through Friday, and University Medical Center (UMC) cafeteria, until 6:30 PM, Monday through Friday. Saturday and Sunday, the UMC cafeteria is available until 2:30 PM. Additionally, on weeknights and weekends, local restaurants are available and their contact and menu information will be provided during orientation.  

Health Insurance: Not provided; although not a condition of eligibility to participate in our program, students will be requested to provide proof of their own health insurance. Access to both emergency and non-emergency services are available and information regarding access to these services will be provided. If there are further questions, please feel free to contact the program administrator.

Social Activities: Information will be distributed regarding activities and ways of travel (Uber and Streetcars) during the orientation; activities occur on the weekends. Places To Visit: Congo Square, Jackson Square, The Cabildo; City Park, the World War II Museum; June Activities: New Orleans Oyster Festival, Louisiana Cajun Zydeco Festival, French Market Creole Tomato Festival, New Orleans Pride, City Park Jazz Concert Series (Wednesday and Thursday evenings); July Activities: Fourth of July Fireworks on the River, ESSENCE Festival.


For additional information regarding SHPEP, please select the RWJF image below. Thank you!!! signature%20wings%20header