A comprehensive effort to cultivate diversity within any community must first consider diverse points of access. That is especially true for the community of a medical school, where the admissions process is daunting to start with.
The Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences (MBS) program is one of Tufts’ newest initiatives to create a new access point to the medical school. The Tufts MBS program was launched in 2006 and its first class matriculated in August of 2007. The program’s Faculty Director and Program Manager are Alvar W Gustafson, PhD and Vivian Stephens-Hicks, MPH, respectively.
“The MBS program,” says Dr. Gustafson, “has been designed specifically to provide an outstanding experience and high-quality educational opportunity for students wishing to become stronger applicants to medical school.”
Requirements for the master’s degree include a full-year of course work, and a mentored research thesis. Students in the program also have an option to complete the requirements for a Master in Public Health degree or a Master of Business Administration degree.
Most of the course work required for the MBS Program mirrors the first year of medical school at Tufts. MBS students take some of the most difficult first-year courses, including biochemistry, medical
“Because they take the same courses that a first-year medical student is taking and the same examinations,” says Dr. Gustafson, “our students have the opportunity to give medical school admissions committees a clear indication of both their commitment and their skills”
Dr. Gustafson is a strong advocate for using technology in medical school curricula and points to the MBS program’s use of 3-D anatomical imaging based on the Visible Human Project data set as one example.