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Cedar City — Southern Utah University’s new Betty McDonald Pre-Med Institute opened in late April and is set to receive its first students this fall semester.
The new pre-med program, designed to satisfy the need for more complete medical school preparation for SUU’s international students, is the first of its kind in the country.
The MPI is intended to enhance the traditional undergraduate pre-med experience by providing guidance and tutoring to SUU’s growing base of international students seeking medical degrees, engaging them in cultural immersion programs and helping to improve their communication skills and cultural acclimation.
“Many of our international students come to the U.S. with dreams to enter the health profession,” said MPI director, Johnny Oh. “But on top of the difficult course work, they’re confronted with learning a language at a collegiate level and adapting to a new culture. It can be very daunting.”
The new pre-med institute will provide access to personal tutors, help students properly compose their research writings, and connect them with local physicians. MPI students will participate in interpersonal and leadership training, complete community service projects and take part in activities with the Harry Reid Outdoor Engagement Center.
The Pre-Med Institute is an exclusive program with acceptance requirements and a maximum capacity of 15 new students each year. In its first year, the program’s administrators hope to bring in new freshmen they can usher through the entirety of the four-year program.