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Kentucky high school students from 20 counties across the region recently completed the annual Professional Education Preparation Program at the University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine. This two-week residential program provides high school students with an opportunity to learn about the medical profession. More than 700 students have participated in the university’s program since its inception in 1999.
Participating from Spencer County were Alysa-Grace Wente and Shelby Wakefield. Both will be juniors at Spencer County High School in the fall.
This year, students spent two weeks on campus learning anatomy, histology, physiology, biochemistry, pathology, and pharmacology of the 10 major human organ systems through presentations provided by KYCOM faculty and second-year medical students. PEPP students participated in gross anatomy and functional anatomy labs and engaged in clinical observations at Pikeville Medical Center.
The PEPP program is designed to provide a better understanding of rural medicine, what it takes to get into a medical education program, and the dedication needed to succeed in the medical profession. It also helps to build confidence and self-esteem and provides students with the encouragement to seek challenging course work as they prepare for higher education.
“I am delighted that 43 Kentucky high school senior and junior students successfully completed our PEPP Program this year,” said Linda Dunatov, associate dean for student affairs at KYCOM. “The KYCOM PEPP Program offers Kentucky high school students a unique opportunity to learn about osteopathic medicine as a possible career. This year’s group stood out as avid learners who show future promise of becoming excellent medical professionals.”