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Mini Med School: Advanced Topics in Medicine
July 10-22, 2023
Welcome to Mini-Med School: Advanced Topics in Medicine! We are excited to welcome you to the world of virtual learning at Tufts. Thanks to the wonders of digital platforms, we are able to bring a new exciting and rigorous academic experience to you in your home. This online summer intensive is designed and led by medical faculty and provides driven students the opportunity to work closely with medical students as they explore crucial facets of the medical school experience at one of the nation's leading medical schools - Tufts University School of Medicine.
Through lectures and medical case studies coupled with a hands-on lab, students will begin to experience much of what it takes to study medical sciences. Question and answer sessions with admissions staff, physicians, other health professionals, and medical students will help participants get a feel for medical school and the career options they have in medicine and related health sciences. This program is uniquely interdisciplinary and is distinctive in its ability to draw on the stunning array of schools beyond the School of Medicine dedicated to health science and medicine at Tufts University, including: the School of Dental Medicine, the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy, the School of Engineering, and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Students will cap their experience with a project that focuses on a health topic of personal and societal significance. They will share their capstone projects with their program peers, medical student mentors, and program staff.
- Gain experience learning about infectious diseases and immunology from Medical Education specialists at Tufts University School of Medicine
Attend career talks with various medical professionals which will help you decide the right health profession for you
Participate in medical school style ‘case studies’ and a diagnostic clinical lab that explores the threat of antibiotic resistant infections
Work closely with current medical students as you take on the challenges in the program, while learning about their paths to becoming a health professional
Learn how to communicate effectively about complex health issues through development of a capstone project
- Learn what undergraduate and medical school admissions committees are looking for in applicants
- Learn about infectious diseases and immunology - critical health topics important to all medical professionals
- Create a capstone project focused around a health issue of your choice
- Attend talks led by experts in medical, veterinary, and biomedical sciences
Meet Your Program Staff
Berri Jacque, Director
School of Medicine
Dr. Berri Jacque is an Associate Professor of Medical Education and teaches immunology in a number of professional programs (medical, dental, PA, and MBA) at Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM). He directs The Center for Science Education at TUSM which aims to bring biomedical learning to high school classrooms, with the goal of broadening participation in science. Using a collaborative approach with high-school educators, his research focuses on understanding approaches that build interest in science and increase health literacy to prepare a diverse, engaged STEM workforce.
Tony Gao, Associate Director
Dr. Tony Gao has a background in biomedical engineering, specializing in cardiovascular biomechanics. Prior to joining the Mini Med School team, he was part of the TUSM Center for Science Education, where his postdoctoral work focused on the development of online graduate courses for high school biology educators. Dr. Gao is interested in the potential of educational gaming and other interactive media as equitable tools to improve engagement with topics such as health literacy and science communication, both within and outside the classroom.
Our program begins with a virtual orientation and welcome event. During this required orientation, we will review the overall program schedule, discuss policies and safety, meet your medical student Teaching Assistants (TAs), and answer questions.
To address any technical issues in advance you will be given early access to the summer program in Canvas (our online learning management platform) along with a description of software to download. Staff will be available to address any issues and questions. You will also receive a set of materials from us in the mail (see details below).
This virtual program, has five major components:
- Medical Case Studies: Students will work in small groups led by a medical student teaching assistant to collectively determine the diagnosis and treatment plans for a patient. Multiple different patient cases, which were designed specifically for the program, will be presented. Through these case studies, students will learn about physical exams, how to interpret blood test and X-ray results and the importance of taking a patients’ history.
- Independent coursework - students will review material posted to Canvas (a learning management system) on their own schedule.
- Small group activities - live Zoom sessions, grouped by time zone when possible.
- Clinical Diagnostic Lab: Students will perform a multi-day lab called The Tragic Case of Stan using materials we will send out (see "materials" below). Over a period of two weeks, students will be introduced to a fictional character, Stan, who will undergo a surgical procedure and face a complication as a result of a bacterial infection. To diagnose the cause of Stan's infection, students will perform various tests similar to those used in clinical settings. Students will also tackle the challenge of selecting a treatment for Stan, examining the standard of care, as well as novel approaches to treating infections. Learn more here: The Tragic Case of Stan.
- Students will step through the lab in small interactive sessions led by medical students, grouped by time zone when possible.
- All materials required for the lab will be shipped to students: an incubator, microbiology supplies, and lab books (see below).
- To take part in the lab students will be required to take and pass an online health and safety training. This is the same training that Tufts students must take to work with bacteria in a physical lab setting.
- Lectures on Medical Topics: Faculty from Tufts Medical School and from health professions across fields will discuss their research. In most cases these will be large group lectures with a carefully planned opportunity for questions and answers. Although held live, they will be recorded for students unable to attend live. The Mini-Med School on campus students will also be in attendance for these sessions.
- Career Awareness: Students will hear from real doctors, medical students, admissions staff, and those in other health professions about what it is like to be in their career or in their stage of career development. Students will be able to ask questions so they can begin to envision themselves among the health care professionals!
- Capstone Project: Students will work in small groups with current medical students to create a capstone project that connects the science of infectious diseases and immunology to a health topic of personal and societal significance. Last year this was the creation of short videos on health topics (see examples here). We are still planning the exciting project(s) for 2022!
Finally, there will also be plenty of time for meeting your peers for networking and fun at informal movie nights and game nights with other high school students, medical students, and TUSM faculty!
At the end of the program, students will share their Capstone projects in a virtual showcase on Friday. Friends and family are welcome to view all presentations, and participate in the digital gala! In 2020 and 2021, student videos were screened, and the top 12 videos were selected and posted on the Tufts University School of Medicine Center for Science Education website. For 2022, you will do something that is equally amazing!
- The below is the program schedule from last year’s program. While this year’s program will be very similar, please note that the schedule is subject to change as we continue to evolve the program and speaker list.
- The time and dates of the Welcome Address and Capstone Gala for Summer 2022 will be announce shortly!
- All times are in EASTERN TIME. Please see "Attending from Outside the Eastern Time Zone" and “International students” sections below for concerns regarding those not in ET.
- Because this is a virtual program, meals will not be provided for students. Depending on your time zone, activities may occur during meal times.
Week 1: Sample
Week 2: Sample
Materials & Other Requirements
A critical part of this experience is the Tragic Case of Stan Kit. To make sure students have everything they need to complete the project, we will be mailing in advance of the program the following (students will attend a required virtual lab safety training to ensure they use these materials safely):
- Experimental reagents
- A mini-Incubator for the experiments
- A color printout of the lab book
For US based students (excluding Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Alaska), the kits will be shipped 1 week before the start of the program. For all other students the kits will be shipped approximately 2 weeks before the program to provide extra time for customs. It is essential that someone is present at the shipping address to receive the materials. We will provide the exact shipping date by mid to late June.
We strongly advise that you do not travel via plane during the program as transporting the lab kit is not recommended.
Besides this and the technology requirements listed under "Virtual Technical Needs & Support" below, no materials will be necessary for participation in this program. We will, however, be mailing you some fun Tufts Pre-College Programs swag and your Certificate of Completion at the end of the program.
Note: if you live internationally, there may be restrictions on shipping; we are not responsible if the materials we mail are delayed (which we will try to avoid) or held in customs. Unfortunately, we cannot replace lost lab kits.
Tufts Virtual Campus
We endeavor to make each moment of the student experience at Tufts memorable for our students. Tufts Virtual Campus brings new meaning to this as we strive to recreate the critical learning and social environment students expect from Tufts University through digital tools. Tufts Virtual campus exists on a series of software platforms to which students will have full access during their program. In particular, the following two platforms will be used for the majority of our activities:
Zoom: allows students to connect for lectures, webinars, breakout sessions, one-on-one mentoring, phone calls, chat sessions ... and more!
Canvas: provides a collaborative space for course content, assignments, and grading. Many programs will host course material (syllabus, readings, review questions, etc.) on a Canvas course site.
Tufts Virtual Campus programs are being designed to provide high-quality, flexible, and interactive experiences to our students. We are carefully designing them to have the same academic rigor and expectations for teaching, studying, and achievement as their on-campus counterparts. The benefits of learning in a virtual environment include giving students greater freedom to interact with course content (lectures, presentations, discussions, forums, etc.) on a schedule that works for them, using a wider network of resources to achieve educational goals.
Guidelines & Access
To ensure the safety of our Pre-College students, we are closely monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis, and following local, state, and federal guidance as it pertains to our Pre-College programming.
Please see University College's COVID-19 page for specific information regarding Pre-College COVID-19 policies and procedures.
Tufts University is not only a leading institution of higher education and academic research, but it is leading the nation in terms of higher education's response to our public health crisis.
For more information about Tufts' response and action planning regarding COVID-19: Please visit Tufts University's COVID-19 homepage.
Students are required to attend all elements of the program schedule and any expected absences must be communicated to program staff in advance. Tufts takes the safety of its students very seriously, even in the virtual environment. Students who enroll will receive more information about our virtual and in-person safety protocols.
Tufts makes reasonable efforts to secure background checks and to provide Title IX training to every staff person responsible for students in its Pre-College Programs.
Technical Needs and Support - Virtual
PLEASE NOTE: Due to the unique nature of each of our Pre-College Programs, virtual opportunities for our programs will vary and this program has not yet defined its specific Virtual opportunities. We have outlined below what a sample version of the Virtual experience would be like. Please check back for updates regarding the details of your Pre-College Program's Virtual options.
Students will need access to the following in order to participate in this program:
- Computer: either a Mac or PC with the following
- Mac - running at least OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard)
- PC - running Windows 7/8/10. Users on Windows 10 will have to download the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.
- Smart Phone: any phone capable of accessing social media platforms like Instagram
- Internet Access: A reliable, high-speed (cable or broadband) internet connection is required. Students are expected to log into Zoom and Canvas and to check email daily, and will need regular and reliable access to the internet.
- If you do not have reliable access to internet, programs may have internet hotspots available for students with demonstrated financial need. While this cannot be guaranteed, and supplies may be limited, please check with your program for availability.
- Web Camera: either integrated into your computer or external, set-up and working
- Web Browser: one of the following browsers updated for the latest updates:
- Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge, and Safari.
- Software*: programs capable of
*software may vary by program
We will provide you will access to other software that is required for your program for the duration of your program. As long as you have technology that meets the above requirements, you should have no trouble accessing the software. Depending on the program, this software may include Zoom and Canvas.
Trial Run: Getting Connected
Most programs will send software in advance with instructions to complete a trial-run before the program begins. We will also use orientation time to ensure everyone is connected and comfortable!
First, please try contacting the Pre-College staff at 617-627-2926.
If they cannot answer your question, they will pass you along to our technical support team who is available 24x7 to students who are actively enrolled in a program.
Attending Outside the Eastern Time Zone
Attending from Outside the Eastern Time Zone
We welcome students from other US time zones, and will do our best to situate you in a small group that meets at a reasonable time for your location. Please see the Schedule by Time Zone for an example of how our program accommodates students across three time zones.
If you live internationally, you may be wondering how you will be able to participate in this program. Please know that Tufts sees a diversity of geographical perspectives as not just beneficial but essential to a twenty-first century education. While the program aims to be inclusive of students from across the globe, the reality of virtual small group work necessitates that we can only accommodate students in a US time zone equivalent. Students from other time zones are welcome to join, but should understand that they may be required to meet with their small groups in the middle of the night.
Most of the program is synchronous or live because it consists of small group activities and labs that require supervision. Most class times will be between 9 am and 6 pm US Eastern Time or 7 am and 6 pm US Pacific Time.
Another important consideration is that the Clinical Diagnostic Lab materials contain live organisms and shipping may be problematic depending on the customs processes between our countries. Although not commonly an issue, there is no way for us to confirm shipping beyond the US and Canada. You will need to coordinate shipping to your international address with Carolina Biologicals directly. We will help you start this process. If a lab kit is lost in transit or stuck in customs, we are unable to ship a second kit. If you live internationally, it is imperative that you provide an accurate shipping address for your location during the program dates.
Students should always feel free to get in touch with program staff at any point to let us know how we can best accommodate the challenges of distance learning and we will make reasonable efforts to accommodate where possible.
Application & Policies
Application Materials & Deadlines
Tufts Mini-Med School is a highly competitive program that fills up quickly. We highly recommend applying as early as possible.
|Application Opens||Deadline: All Materials||Deadline: Payment||Deadline: Enrollment Forms|
|December 1||May 15||May 15*||June 15|
*Applications submitted after the payment deadline will require payment in full on admission to hold their seat.
- Entering high school grades 11-12 by Fall 2023 *or* a Spring 2023 high school graduate
- 1 year of biology required
Students electing to live in the dorms or to attend a residential program must be at least 15 at the start of the program and no older than 19 before the program end date.
Both domestic and international students are welcome to apply to and attend our pre-college programs, although please note we cannot sponsor visas for this program.
Non-Native English Speakers
If you indicate that English is not your primary language, you will be asked to submit evidence of English Language proficiency. Please see our "How to Apply" page for details.
Step 1: Complete an Online Application
The online application will ask you for the following information:
- Basic personal information, including parents/guardians and emergency contact (if you are under 18, we will contact a parent for permission to enroll)
- List of any relevant classes taken (biology)
- A personal statement of interest (no more than 300 words)
- Test scores - optional, unless you must submit scores as evidence of English proficiency
- Warrants and signatures
If you need to log back into this application after starting, click here: return to my application.
Step 2: Upload Your High School Transcript
During your application process, you will be asked to provide us with contact information for an official from your high school. They will receive an email with further instructions to upload your transcript.
Step 3: Parental Consent
As a part of your application, you will be asked to provide contact information for a parent/guardian. Once you submit your application, our systems will automatically email the parent/guardian you listed in the application with instructions for how to fill out the online permission form.
Please note your application will not be considered submitted and review of your application will not begin until the materials from Step 2 and Step 3 have been received by Tufts Pre-College Programs.
Pre-College Admissions Decision
Once an applicant has submitted an application and all required admissions documents are received, the applicant will be considered for admission by the Tufts Pre-College Programs review committee for the specific program(s) to which they applied.
Decisions are made on a rolling basis and students will typically receive an official email informing them of their admissions status within 10 business days of Tufts receiving all required materials.
If you do not receive your email within two weeks of all materials being submitted, please contact us at email@example.com or 617-627-2926.
Disclaimer: This program is not related to Tufts University Undergraduate Admissions. Participation in this program does not result in admission to a Tufts University degree program. Tufts reserves the right to admit as requested, to deny admission, or to offer provisional admission. The program will not provide feedback to applicants if admission is denied.
Admitted students must do the following prior to the start of the program:
- Submit a deposit to hold your seat; this program requires a deposit within 10 business days of the date on which the admissions decision was posted
- Pay your balance in full prior to the stated deadline
- Complete all enrollment forms and/or follow-up requests prior to the stated deadline
Should the above not be completed prior to the stated deadlines, the student will be automatically withdrawn from the program.
Tuition & Fees
Other Key Financial Policies
Program Fees - Summer 2023
Virtual Program Fee: $4,200
- Includes: all program activities, various materials for use in labs and skills-building activities, opening/closing events, daily activities.
- Excludes: anything not explicitly stated above.
Non-Refundable Program Deposit: $550
- A pre-payment on program fees is required to reserve space in the program upon acceptance
- This deposit will be applied toward program fees and is not an additional fee
- The balance of payment for program fees is due upon notification of charges, and no later than May 15
- This deposit is non-refundable in the event of withdrawal from the program
Materials Fee: $100
Availability of Awards
Tufts Pre-College Programs are committed to aiding students from all backgrounds. Although we have only limited need-based financial aid available, we do our best to distribute the funds to students for whom it can make the greatest difference in their ability to attend.
Financial Aid awards are made on a rolling basis to students with demonstrated need. We aim to provide enough aid to eligible students that they are able to successfully enroll and participate in the program. Seasonal aid awards are as follows:
- Fall: we currently do not offer aid for the Fall term
- Spring: we currently do not offer aid for the Spring term
- Summer: we will typically distribute awards monthly beginning in February and will continue until the enrollment deadline or until aid is fully distributed
If financial assistance is essential to your ability to attend the program, we recommend that you wait to pay the $550 non-refundable deposit until you have received your financial aid decision. Award decisions will be issued twice per month.
Students with undocumented status are considered for financial like any other U.S. citizen or permanent resident. If you are undocumented or have DACA status and want more information about how to apply for financial aid, please call our office at 617-627-2926.
- International students are not eligible for financial aid at this time. Families should expect to contribute to the remaining portion of the program cost as well as other expenses like travel, books, etc.
- We currently do not offer aid for students participating in our Leadership for Social Change Intensive
- Complete the Admissions Application for the pre-college program you would like to attend.
- During the application process, you will be asked to indicate whether you are interested in being considered for financial aid.
- After submission, you will have the option of completing a financial aid application in your student portal
- We will review your financial aid application. Your financial aid application will be considered for the next monthly aid award(s). Award decisions will be issued twice per month.
- If you receive an award,
- You will be notified by email of the amount of the award
- You will have 10 days (including weekends and holidays) to accept the award by completing your Financial Aid Award Form and submitting your deposit. If you have received a full financial aid scholarship you are not required to pay your deposit, as it is covered by your scholarship.
- Tufts Pre-College Programs will then credit your student account with the amount of financial aid you received
- Please note: Your enrollment in the program is still contingent on payment of any remaining balance after the award is applied to your account, and on receiving your enrollment forms
- If you do not receive an award you will be notified via email
Please see the policies section of this website for a complete list of applicable policies.