TIP Program Aims To Increase Undergrad Student Interest in Health Care Careers

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Since 1986, the Tennessee Institutes for Pre-Professionals (TIP) program at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center has been inspiring students to pursue careers in health care.

Just like enrolled UTHSC students, TIP participants were given the opportunity to present research posters. (Photo courtesy of Student Life/UTHSC)

“Through the TIP program, we aim to prepare Tennessee’s underrepresented college students in professional academic health care programs through exposure to clinical shadowing opportunities, personal and professional development, standardized entrance exam preparation, as well as clinical simulations,” said Kamaria Robinson, TIP program coordinator.

The seven-week program is geared toward increasing interest in health care careers for groups underrepresented in careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. Three program tracks are offered based on students’ college year and health career interests. The first track offers experiences in which students learn about primary care and are exposed to clinical skills, while learning interpersonal skills needed in health care. The second track prepares participants in test-taking, so that they are set up for success when taking the required admissions test for their chosen doctorate or graduate school programs, including the DAT, GRE, MCAT, and PCAT. Students participating in the third track are exposed to the curriculums being offered in the colleges of Dentistry, Medicine and Pharmacy.

The most recent TIP class began their program in June. The program curriculum is hands-on allowing participants access and training to facilities typically reserved for enrolled UTHSC students. This includes the Robert Kaplan Clinical Skills Center, the College of Dentistry Dental Lab, and the College of Pharmacy Compounding Lab. Participants learn skills in dental impressions, suture techniques, compounding medications, and working on infant and adult manikins in the medical simulation lab. CPR certification is also offered to students in Track I.

Participants concluded their summer program with a closing ceremony at the Student-Alumni Center. Guest speakers encouraged the students to continue to pursue their goals and dreams in becoming health care professionals. Several students enrolled at UTHSC are alumni of the program.

The TIP program will open early applications for the next class beginning November 1. Applications are due on February 15. Students interested in participating must be enrolled as an undergraduate student with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and be a Tennessee resident. The average class for each track is about 20 students. For more information visit https://www.uthsc.edu/hcp/.