Pre-Medical Access to the Clinical Experience (PACE)

PACE group photo

Historically, racial and ethnic minorities have been underrepresented in the health professions in the United States. According to the Sullivan Commission, “the nation’s medical, nursing, and dental schools have not succeeded in their efforts to achieve greater diversity among their students and, in turn, to develop a health professions workforce with the skills and diversity needed to maintain the nation’s position as a world leader in healthcare.”

Even talented minority students who do succeed at primary, secondary, and collegiate levels, and who are committed to pursuing a career in one of the health professions, often find it difficult to gain admission to health professions schools. “Missing Persons: Minorities in Health Professions. A Report of the Sullivan Commission on Diversity in the Healthcare Workforce, National Academy of Sciences,” can be found at

Photo Credit: Inel J. Lewis

In the Stony Brook University School of Medicine’s Strategic Plan for 2011-2015, Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, Senior Vice President Health Sciences, and Dean, Stony Brook School of Medicine, stated that in the institutional commitment to diversity that we will “build pipeline programs that will enhance the entry of underrepresented minorities into medicine and monitor their success.”

The Pre-medical Access to the Clinical Experience (PACE) program allows Stony Brook undergraduate students who are in their junior and senior years and have self-identified as a pre-med student to shadow Stony Brook School of Medicine faculty members in private practices, and in the hospital, in order to increase their exposure to clinical experiences and their ability to successfully apply to medical school.

PACE Scholars are also provided sessions on “How to Study,” “the AMCAS Application,” “Professional Communication,” “Professional Etiquette,” “the MCAT,” “How to Write a Personal Statement,” and “Relieving Stress.” These sessions are facilitated by Stony Brook School of Medicine faculty and medical students. PACE Scholars are also mentored by our medical students.

PACE Scholar testimonials:

Caleb Sooknanan
Caleb Sooknanan, PACE Scholar 2018
“I feel like I never would've gotten this opportunity to see what goes on the hospital, network with different medical professions, etc. without this program.”
“I never thought that I would have this type of opportunity. I am amazed.”
“I feel so confident. I feel encouraged now. There was a time when I had lost hope that I could do this.”
Thank you for allowing me to be in this program. I am so fortunate. I am shadowing in the residents clinic and learning so much. Thank you.
My name is XX, and I am one of the scholars from the 2016 PACE program. I'm sending this email to advocate the continuation of this program for prospective students. Previously, I had never been exposed to clinical experience because I didn't know how to get started. As a biomedical engineering major, I was primarily focused on my studies and lab research, but this program allowed me to have direct access to working with doctors in the medical field and much more. Being able to have a medical mentor was enlightening because they had been through the path towards medical school. My mentor, Andreas, gave me helpful tips and advice not only for applying to medical school, but also gave methods to stay focused and on top of my studies. My shadowing experiences in the ER gave me the opportunity to see how doctors interact with patients when they require critical care, and it also gave me a taste of what to expect in a fast flowing environment where doctors had to work quickly and efficiently as a team. Finally, the seminars that were held every week were very helpful. Although I couldn't attend all the seminars due to scheduling conflicts, the ones that I did attend reminded me of what I needed to do to become a competitive medical school applicant. I learned how to study properly, how to utilize my time best, and I was given the opportunity to meet people that were very knowledgeable about medicine and the application process. I hope that future students who are also unsure of how to get started can also participate in the PACE program if it continues.