Physician Pipeline Preparatory Program (P4)
Inspiring Teens toward Medical Careers

Do you know a Springfield-area high school or junior high student who dreams of becoming a doctor? The Physician Pipeline Preparatory Program, or P4, gives young people a head start into medical careers and provides them with early mentors within the Springfield medical community. The after-school program is sponsored by SIU School of Medicine in partnership with Springfield Public Schools District 186 and the Sangamon County Medical Society.
Students enter P4 when they are high school freshmen and continue through their senior year. This four-year experience familiarizes them with medical school coursework, undergraduate college and medical school admissions processes, test-taking skills, critical thinking and specialty training. The curriculum, developed by faculty and staff from the School of Medicine and District 186, includes:

• special lectures
• physical skills-training
• job shadowing
• problem-based learning (PBL)
• laboratory aptitude
• research
• college-planning seminars
• supplemental instruction in college-level science, technology, engineering and math courses
• mentoring activities modeled after medical school education programs

SIU physicians and scientific research faculty, medical students and educators from District 186 lead the after-school sessions.

The Pipeline is open to all high school students from Springfield schools and its environs, both public and private. Participating students are chosen through a competitive process by a committee that includes SIU and District 186 partners, as well as community representatives. Applications must reflect high academic performance and attendance, a high level of motivation and sincere interest in becoming a physician. The committee also gives consideration to students with a disadvantaged socioeconomic background or the potential to become a first-generation college graduate.

Physician Pipeline Preparatory Program (P4)

High school freshmen interested in a career as a physician are invited to the Physician Pipeline Preparatory Program (P4), sponsored by SIU School of Medicine, District 186 and the Sangamon County Medical Society. P4 places high school students alongside medical students and other professionals for a rigorous curriculum. The program introduces them to the field of medicine and exposes them to dozens of physician career possibilities.

P4 recruits a diverse group of students who want to become physicians and provides support, leadership opportunities, and a variety of hands-on experiences to assist them in pursuing this career goal. This four-year after-school program features two, 2-week modules of study during the academic year, as well as volunteer summer experiences. P4students are expected to remain in the program through all of their high school education.

The selection process for P4 begins by submitting an application packet. Only incoming high school freshmen are eligible. The application must include evidence of high academic performance (GPA at least 2.5) and an attendance rate of at least 90%. The selection committee looks favorably upon applicants from underrepresented groups (African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives and Pacific Islanders), as well as potential first generation college students and those who might not otherwise be able to get exposure to such premedical experiences. Students from outside the district may apply.

Additional facts about the program
• A program director monitors participants’ grades, attendance, and behavior in high school, as well as during P4 activities.
• Students must maintain at least a 2.5 GPA in high school to remain in P4.
• All students must be enrolled in a rigorous high school curriculum. Disciplinary problems, attendance issues, or other matters that impact a student’s success in the program will be reviewed by P4 administrators.

Questions regarding P4 should be directed to:
• Nalo Mitchell, Coordinator of School, Family and Community Relations, District 186, 217-525-3047 or
• Cheree Morrison, Director of Secondary Schools and Programs, District 186 217-525-3017 or
• Dr. Wesley G. McNeese,, 217-545-7334 or Lesley Barfield,


1. Three letters of recommendation: teacher, school administrator and community member preferred. Forms are attached.

2. Personal essay explaining interest in P4, career plans, and other goals. Essay should be typed, double-spaced and not more than 250 words.

3. A summary of student experiences (form attached)

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2019 by 4:00 PM

First Module of Study: November 4 - 7 and 12 - 14, 2019
Second Module of Study: February 3 - 6 and 10 - 13, 2020

A student/parent informational meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 30, 2019,
5 – 6 pm at SIU School of Medicine, 801 N. Rutledge, South Auditorium.
Attendance at this meeting is strongly encouraged.
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