Core Competencies

The goal of the GPPA in Medicine program is to instill the following competencies in its students:

  1. Become a critical thinker

    Several exciting and valuable aspects of GPPA are its seminars and lectures of various topics. In these we explore: the meaning of an undergraduate education, medical ethics, professionalism, and the history and current topics of medicine. Each topic embodies a goal of GPPA; that is, the initiation of critical thoughts on how we would like to help society to progress as clinicians and members of society.

    One opportunity that facilitates this goal, for example, is a health policy course led by a GPPA alumnus; this course is an intensive seminar provided exclusively to GPPA students. I enjoyed this intimate setting in which we could rigorously discuss the current problems and future of specific aspects of healthcare such as the public benefits: Medicare and Medicaid. These seminars and lectures are then combined with excellent advisors and leaders in the program that guide students to further explore different topics throughout their undergraduate career.

    -Aran Yoo
    B.S. Biological Sciences
    GPPA Class of 2012

  2. Determine what is important to think about

    Core to the GPPA Medicine curriculum are the GAMD courses. Simply from their titles –Professionalism in Medicine, Art and Science of Medicine, History and Philosophy of Medicine, etc. – it is obvious that these classes push participating students to think critically and discuss comprehensively what it means to be a medical doctor, an age old occupation in an ever evolving society. As GPPA Medicine students with guaranteed admission into the U of I medical college system, it is acknowledged that we should focus our thoughts not only on getting into medical school, but also the worldly aspects of the medical field. Where the average pre-medicine student focuses on medical school prerequisites, MCAT preparation, and the medical school admissions process, GPPA students have the opportunity to truly consider that which is crucial, controversial, and developing in the medical field so that they may be at the forefront of progressive thought.

    -Alex Kim
    B.S. Biological Sciences
    GPPA Class of 2013

  3. Acquire basic knowledge and understanding central to the pursuit of a medical education

    As a student entering my first year of undergrad, though I knew I wanted to be a physician, I had no real conceptualization of what it meant to be a physician. Through the seminars taught in the spring semester of freshman year and fall semester of sophomore year, my classmates and I learned about what the expectations of the physician are and how the physician meets these expectations. A lot of what we learned is focused on societal obligations, codes of conduct and ethics. Surprisingly, medical students are not commonly exposed to the topics we discussed, but I would argue that the discussion of these topics is vital to anyone intending to become a physician. For this reason, GPPA Medicine offers a unique developmental experience to the future physician that cannot easily be obtained elsewhere.

    -Aneesh Nandam
    B.S. Biological Sciences, B.A. Psychology
    GPPA Class of 2013

  4. Become knowledgeable about areas that will help you lead an enjoyable life, including literature, music, arts, athletics, theater, etc.

    A message from one our current GPPA students is forthcoming!

  5. Become a socially active and participatory leader in society

    A GPPA student should learn to become a socially active and participatory leader in society. This is a crucial aspect of obtaining an undergraduate education, and as GPPA students, we are no exception. Not only are we not an exception, but we must be able to set an example of the importance of leadership for the rest of our peers. Through our bachelor’s degree, we should have the desire and capability to participate in societal discussions and work successfully towards public gain. With the GPPA guarantee, our social activity should not be diminished, but amplified, because we can focus our attention to other aspects of learning and educating ourselves: all without the worry of not being accepted into medical school. These reasons aside, we have chosen a profession where the continuous knowledge of current events, whether they be scientific, technological, or political, is critical to moving forward with our colleagues. As an Honors Ambassador to incoming Honors College students, I have been able to communicate with my peers in the various GPPA programs, increasing my own knowledge about what UIC has to offer, while helping others. Being a part of the executive board of the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA), I was able to meet with and lead other students who had similar interests to mine. As social chair of Golden Key International Honour society, I have had the opportunity to give back to the urban community I am now a part of. Tutoring children from inner city schools through New Life Volunteering Society gave me the opportunity to interact with parents and children that were from a much different social and cultural background than me, something I was not used to in my suburban town.

    -Shreya Kanabar
    B.S. Neuroscience
    GPPA Class of 2012