We are pleased to announce a summer program for the Class of 2025. This program, called PILLAR (Program of Learning for Lifelong Approach to Review) is an opportunity for a small cohort of students to spend time solidifying their Bridges Curriculum Foundations 1 medical knowledge. This program will advance participants’ readiness for the second year of Foundations 1, and for subsequent assessments, including standardized exams.

Program Details

  • The course is IDS 198
  • The program will run from Tuesday, June 21 – Friday, Aug 5, 2022 (7 weeks); students may take a 1-week vacation anytime during this period EXCEPT for the first week (7 weeks total);
  • Weekly activities for PILLAR will include:
    • Group review of challenging year-one medical knowledge (MK) concepts, by working through selected year-one Foundations 1 small group problem sets and USMLE Q bank questions. These supportive small groups will be facilitated by a faculty member, senior medical student or recent graduate.
    • Individualized review of year-one MK topics and OEQs, guided by a learning plan that each student will create in the first week of the program. This individualized review will employ daily practice with a commercial USMLE Step 1 on-line question-bank program.
    • Meeting with a faculty mentor.
    • In the last week, a NBME Comprehensive Basic Science Exam (CBSE) practice test.
  • This is intended as a full-time program, and it may not be combined with another funded SOM summer program such as Inquiry Summer Explore or the Summer Curriculum Ambassador Program.
  • Participants will receive the standard summer program stipend of $4,500.
  • Participants will be provided a 90-day subscription to the UWorld USMLE Step 1 on-line question-bank program.

Eligibility and Application

  • PILLAR is intended for students who would benefit from structured academic support in reviewing first-year Foundations 1 Medical Knowledge content, as evidenced by performance in Foundations 1 first-year summative exams, MK subject scores, and/or CBSE.
  • Students will need be able to attend the weekly required small group session in person and, as mentioned above, may not participate in another funded SOM summer program or participate remotely.
  • For students who are interested in the program and not sure whether it is right for them, we recommend talking with your Bridges coach, who will also receive notification of the program.
  • Application to PILLAR simply requires sending an email to Xavier Macy, Foundations 1 Academic Advisor, with concise answers to three questions:
  • What motivates you to apply for the PILLAR program? (Please note that you do not need to provide details of your performance.)
  • What are your personal goals for the PILLAR program?
  • What assurance can you provide that you are prepared to give your full-time effort to the PILLAR program?
  • The applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Admission to PILLAR will be made on a rolling basis, though, so earlier application is encouraged.

If you have questions about PILLAR, please contact Dr. Marieke Kruidering, the program director.