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San Francisco: Summer Sessions

Summer Sessions
Summer Research

Summer Sessions
The first formal summer sessions program was established in 1946. Prior to that time students who wished to complete work in the summer were enrolled through the professional schools. Students in the paramedical programs (i.e., physical therapists, medical illustrators, etc.) had never participated because their schooling followed a 12-month sequence.

The sessions were offered in two six-week sections: Session I beginning the first Monday immediately following the close of the spring semester, Session II immediately following the close of Session I. Summer Session III, lasting eight weeks, was started in 1960 and continued through 1963. Enrollment in the Summer Sessions increased from 62 students in 1946 to 327 students in 1964.

When University-wide coordination of Summer Sessions was established in 1957, Dr. Willard C. Fleming was appointed Summer Sessions director for the San Francisco campus. In 1959, program in the School of Nursing in limited status (for students already holding R.N. baccalaureate) and R.N. baccalaureate and master's candidates were transferred from the Berkeley campus. The first students registered in these programs in Summer Sessions of 1960.

The summer term was a 12-week term beginning the first Monday immediately following the close of the spring semester and did not come under the jurisdiction of the Summer Sessions. The summer term for students in the School of Nursing was in existence from the beginning of the diploma program begun in the hospital training school for nurses in 1907; it was established as a formal program in 1946. Postdoctoral students' (interns, assistant residents, residents) registration in summer term began in 1954. Beginning in 1960, the basic baccalaureate program in nursing transferred to regular semesters only. Total enrollment in the summer term increased from 186 students in 1946 to 524 students in 1964.


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Summer Research Training Program
By the mid-1960's research training for medical students was generally accepted by the more progressive medical schools as an essential feature of the education of future physicians. It was felt that in actual practice, every patient was a new and unique research problem confronting the physician, so that it would be to his advantage to have some experience in the over-all philosophy of research undertaking. This concept was developed early in the twentieth century at the Johns Hopkins Medical School and also at the University of Wisconsin Medical School. It was introduced at the University of California Medical School by 1930.

In 1961, an approach was made for a grant from the National Institutes of Health for the support of a systematic medical student research training program which would operate primarily during the summer months. Such a grant was obtained in 1962 and the program began with Dr. Robert M. Featherstone as acting director and operated under the supervision of the Committee on Student Summer Research Fellowships and Student Research Training Program, of which Dr. William O. Reinhardt was chairman. In September, 1962, Dr. Chauncey D. Leake became coordinator of the program.

The medical student research training program, supported by U.S. Public Health Service grants, voluntary health agencies, and industry, offered to selected medical students and incoming first-year medical students the opportunity to undertake special research training during the summer. The amount of the stipend for each fellowship varied according to the time devoted to the project. Most students spent eight to ten weeks during the summer at stipends of $750 and $900 respectively. A special feature of the program was the opportunity for qualified students to elect to spend a year in research training at any time during the first three years of medical school. Although registered in the School of Medicine curriculum, students undertaking such a program might apply for registration simultaneously in the Graduate Division. Work completed during this research year could be credited toward a master's or doctoral degree. The five-year program was provided especially for those interested in obtaining advanced academic degrees and those planning careers in academic medicine.

The summer research fellowship program included a series of lectures and seminars during July and August. This aspect of the program was intended to supplement the laboratory experience and direct faculty-student relationships. The series was designed to broaden the acquaintance of the student with areas of research which could be of current or future interest. In addition to the research seminar sessions, a series of lectures in the history and philosophy of medicine and science was offered, with discussion of the pertinence of the history of science to medical education and the natures of unique contributions made by medical students in the past.

In 1962, 84 students participated in the medical student research training program in 1964, the number had risen to 181. Students could elect to undertake their research effort at universities and institutions other than the medical school. In the summer of 1964, six students studied abroad, in places ranging from the University of Tokyo to the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford.

The major goals of the program were: (a) to recognize, encourage, and prepare outstanding students to enter some field of academic medicine; (b) to provide stipends of sufficient magnitude to compete with the nonmedically related jobs many students have been forced to accept during summer periods; (c) to increase medical student professional knowledge and understanding through research. These goals were readily achieved in the program and about ten per cent of the projects resulted in presentation of data at scientific meetings by students, with subsequent publication in most instances.


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