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Stanford/Santa Clara County Medical Association Transformative Experience in Medicine (SSTEM) Program

The SSTEM program was created in 2008 by the Santa Clara County Medical Association (SCCMA) and the Stanford medical students to address the widespread physician shortage we are experiencing not only in the Santa Clara County but in California. The program has grown for up to 50 high school juniors and seniors who are interested in becoming physicians. Our students are high achievers from underrepresented backgrounds and they attend a variety of high schools from the south bay area. They write an essay on why they want to become a physician and why they want to participate in our program.  Many will be the first in their family to attend college. 

During the 3 or 4 Saturday program students are introduced to a day in the life of a physician. SCCMA physicians present on how to become a physician, what they love about their specialty and why they chose it, and how to balance their professional lives with personal. Then Stanford medical students lead students in hands-on activities such as taking vitals, suturing and knot tying, as well as cow heart, eye, and sheep brain dissections. The final day is a tour of the Stanford campus, working with cadavers in the Anatomy lab, a medical student panel with advice and tips on how to get into medical school and finishing with a closing ceremony and lunch. The goal is to provide inspiration and resources to assist them on their path to medical school and ultimately encourage them to come back to serve their community. 

The SSTEM program is offered twice a year - Fall and Spring. If you are a medical student from Stanford and you would like to participate in the SSTEM program, email Sameera Manucher at

The next SSTEM program will be on the following dates: