Health Science Honors Program

UCSB HSHP Logo

The UC Santa Barbara Health Science Honors Program is a component of the College of Letters and Science Honors Program specifically for students interested in the health professions. HSHP assists students as they explore and prepare health careers by providing:

-Dedicated pre-health academic advising
-Dedicated career, application, and admissions advising and mentoring
-Health Science Honors Seminars led by faculty and health care professionals
-University sanctioned clinical internships and shadowing
-Health science related research opportunities.

Health Science Honors Program Student awarded Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellowship

Academic Advising

Scott Kassner (skassner@ltsc.ucsb.edu) is the academic advisor for the Health Science Honors Program. Scott, a member of the Letters and Science health professions advising team and also an Honors Program advisor, assists students as they consider course selection and scheduling. Students may also meet with Scott to consider choices about majors and minors and to discuss any other academic concerns.

Health Science Honors students should also take advantage of the resources that they will find on the Letters and Science Health Sciences website. The website features advice for students considering a wide range of health professions and has information about volunteering and internships as well as health-related student organizations.

Recommended Honors Courses and Seminars

The Honors courses listed below are a few of the courses that HSHP students will find helpful as they pursue their academic and research goals and as they prepare for professional school tests. They represent, however, only a few of the Honors courses available, and we urge HSHP students to consider enrolling in Honors courses across the academic disciplines. Also, please note that not all of these courses are available each quarter. Please go to the Honors Courses page to see the list of Honors courses offered in a given quarter.

Chem 2B
General Chem Honors — Leroy Laverman
Chem 2BC
General Chem Honors Lab — Leroy Laverman
Chem 2C
General-Chem Honors — J. Herbert Waite
Chem 2CC
General Chem Lab (Honors) — J. Herbert Waite
Chem 6BH
Organic Chem Lab — various faculty
Chem 6CH
Organic Chem Lab — various faculty
Chem 109AH
Organic Chemistry — various faculty
MCDB 1AH
Tau and Alzheimers Disease — Stuart Feinstein
Microtubules and Cancer Therapies — Leslie Wilson
Genetic Mutations and Disease — Rolf Christoffersen
MCDB 1BH
Protein Function in Disease — Seng Hui Low
Plant Hormones/ physiology — Ruth Finkelstein
MCDB 101A/126AH (joint honors)
Gene Therapy — Doug Thrower
MCDB 101BH
Genetic Mutations, Modifications, and Diseases — Rolf Christoffersen
MCDB 103H
Cell Bio — Jamey Marth
MCDB 108AH
Developments in Biochemistry — Duane Sears
MCDB 111H
Physiology of Human Diseases — Bill Smith
MCDB 112H
Stem Cells and Therapy — Kathy Foltz
MCDB 133H
Immunology — Duane Sears
MCDB 135H
Oncogenesis—Kathy Foltz
MCDB 139H
Medical Microbiology—David Low
MCDB 151H
Neurobiology I — Carol Vandenberg
MCDB 152H
Neurobiology II — Dennis Clegg
MCDB 153H
Neurobiology III — Stuart Feinstein
PSTAT 5H
Statistics — various faculty
Sociology 1H
Intro to Sociology — various faculty

Seminars and Internships

INT 75—Underserved Medicine
Using service and problem-based learning methodologies, the course explores unique medical needs of vulnerable, underserved populations internationally and locally. Guest speakers discuss topics including refuge health, homelessness, humanitarian aid in conflict zones, care of military veterans, global health development, care of migrant farm workers, and more.
Dr. Jason Prystowsky MD, MPH Emergency Physician, Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital

INT 175 - Healthcare Delivery
This unique course is directed to those upper division students interested in health professions and who should understand the important issues related to health care delivery in the US. Guest speakers will address the economics and models of health care delivery as well as other topics to include quality control, the Affordable Care Act, the ethics in decision making and more.
Contact Stephen Blain for enrollment:  sblain@ltsc.ucsb.edu

*INT 184KF—Biomedical Research and the Media - Navigating the Headlines
This week's sensational headlines - A Cure for Cancer! A Gene for Autism! Deadly Bird Flu! - often cause confusion and, sometimes, mistrust in the scientific process. We will explore how the basic biomedical research process works and then track what happens between the bench science and how it gets reported (or not) to the public. We will assess current news stories and research papers as well as some classic historical examples. The seminar is designed for non-science majors, but all are welcome!
Professor Kathy Foltz, Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, UCSB

*INT 184PD—Introduction to Clinical Medicine
This quarterly course is not a seminar and instead entails intimate shadowing experiences with physicians at Sansum Clinics and first year residents at Cottage Hospital.  Junior and Senior students interested in the health professions are eligible and  consent of instructor is required after an interview.  The selection process is competitive. Honors students interested in INT 184PD should scroll further down and review the opportunities and course requirements in the following section: Clinical Opportunities for Honors Credit. If eligible, make an interview appointment with Dr. Stephen Blain at the L&S website (www.duels.ucsb.edu).
Students:  Please remember to read through the course requirements for INT 184PD  prior to contacting our office about enrollment.

*Counts as an Honors Experience for the Letters and Science Honors Program

Career Advising and Mentoring

Dr. Steve Blain
Dr. Blain (sblain@ltsc.ucsb.edu) is the director of the Health Sciences Program at UCSB, and a Clinical Professor Emeritus in the School of Dentistry at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Blain assists students as they explore health science careers and serves as mentor, supporting them during the application process.

To meet with Dr. Blain for career/application advising, go to my.sa.ucsb.edu/LSAA_Appts/index.aspx and choose “Pre-health” and select “Career Choices and Mentoring” or “Applications and Admissions.”

Student Organizations
Health Profession related student organization provide opportunities for career exploration and can help students find potential mentors. For a list of health profession student organizations go to the Student Organizations page.

Clinical Opportunities for Honors Credit

To participate in the following opportunities, student must enroll in INT 184PD.

St John’s Clinical Care Extender Accelerated Summer Internship

Location: St. John's Regional Medical Center, 1600 North Rose Avenue, Oxnard, CA.
Students accepted into the Accelerated Summer Program are required to complete 240 floor hours in one rotation (3 months) and must complete a department-specific training and a shadowing shift prior to beginning their scheduled shifts They will be scheduled for 4-5 shifts per week (16-20 hours) based on their availability. Interns will complete their scheduling through a designated coordinator and will switch departments after they have completed 3 weeks in the department and at least 48 hours. The intern will still have an opportunity to rotate through 5 different departments if he/she wishes to do so. Externs will begin in June and complete the program at the end of August/beginning of September.

To be considered for the externship for credit, students must make an appointment with Dr. Blain for an interview through the Letters and Science Advising Office. The candidate must submit a resume and photo prior to the interview. If approved, the student must then:

  • Complete an online application and COPE interview process beginning around the first of April.
  • Attend the Immunization Open House at the Pipeline site and submit required immunization/health records before attending mandatory training
  • Attend mandatory 3-day training
  • Pass post-training exams

Assignments are made during the middle of the Spring quarter. Students may earn up to two units after successfully completing a case report and log of clinical insights.

Sansum Clinic Shadowing

Location: Sansum Clinics, Santa Barbara
Only Junior and Senior students may apply and prior clinical experience is recommended. A minimum 10 weeks time commitment is required. Pre-health students will shadow physicians in subspecialty clinics. The program will serve as a means to experience clinical medicine firsthand alongside subspecialty physicians, with a direct patient contact element. The student will rotate to a new practice location every two weeks in order to get a varied experience.

In order to apply for the program, it is mandatory that you will be able to available Thursday afternoons. If you cannot, please do not apply.

Prior to acceptance in the program, students will be required to submit a resume with a photo and interview with Dr. Blain in the Letters and Science Advising Office. The selection of applicants is competitive. Assignments are made during the middle of the previous quarter. Two units of Honors credit will be awarded upon successful completion and submission of a case report and daily log of one’s clinical observations. Students may apply for an additional quarter and for credit if an opening is available. This experience is not offered during the summer.

Cottage Hospital Shadowing

Location: Cottage Hospital, Pueblo at Bath Street, Santa Barbara
Only Junior and Senior students may apply and prior clinical experience is recommended. Externships are competitive. Candidates are selected the middle of the preceding quarter. Pre-health students will shadow first year residents in Internal medicine and surgery. Unexcused absences will not be permitted. This one quarter course will serve as a means to experience clinical medicine firsthand, alongside a first year resident physicians with a direct patient contact. The student will arrange their schedule with the resident and must commit to a minimum of 8 hours each week for one quarter. Not available during the summer sessions.

To be considered for the internship, students must make an appointment with Dr. Blain for an interview through the Letters and Science Advising Office. The candidate must submit a resume and photo prior to the interview. If approved, the student will meet with Dr. Blain for a preliminary orientation and pass a Blood Borne Pathogens exam. The student must then meet with the Program Directors for assignments and follow up registration. You are required to make yourself available for the meeting with the Program Director at his request.

Students may earn up to two units after successfully completing a case report and log of clinical observations

UCSB – Santa Barbara County Public Health Department: Medical Assistant

Location: Santa Barbara County Health Care Clinics
A minimum 12 month time commitment is required. Only Junior or Senior students may apply and prior clinical experience is required. The selection of applicants is competitive. Students will serve in primary care and subspecialty clinics, directly assisting physicians as they see patients. The student must commit to studying the disease treated at the clinic sufficient to understand these conditions. They are expected to acquire a degree of expertise in the electronic health record and the workflow of the clinic in order to support the team, especially the resident physicians. Students may be asked to participate in a quality improvement or other activity to evaluate clinic team performance. Direct participation in case management of patients may be possible. For attendance purposes, students will be treated as employees, whose weekly presence will be vital and relied upon for clinic workflow. Unexcused absences will not be permitted. The program will serve as an outstanding means to experience clinical medicine firsthand, alongside subspecialty physicians with a direct patient contact element.

In order to apply for the program, it is mandatory that you will be able to accommodate at least one of the following clinic schedules. If you cannot, please do not apply.

Subspecialty Clinic Schedule
Gestational Diabetes Tuesdays, 12:45 pm – 5:00 pm
Infectious Diseases (HIV) Wednesdays, 7:45 am – 12:00 pm
General Surgery Tuesdays, 12:45 pm – 4:30 pm

Prior to acceptance in the program, students must submit a resume and photo and will be required to interview with Dr. Blain in the Health Professions Advising Office. If approved, the student will then interview with the County Health Care Clinic. Two units of Honors credit per quarter will be awarded upon successful completion and submission of a case report and log of one’s clinical observations. Students may apply for an additional quarter for credit.

UCSB – Medical Scribe Systems/Cottage Hospital Scribe Program

Location: Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Emergency Room.
Junior or Senior students may apply and prior clinical experience is recommended. The positions are competitive. A minimum of 16 hours/week for a minimum of 12 months of time commitment is required.

Senior pre-health students will serve as scribes in the Emergency Room, directly assisting physicians as they see patients. The primary responsibility of the scribe will be that of data entry into the electronic medical record. As a medical scribe you’ll witness a multitude of patient cases every day – from sprained ankles to life-threatening injuries – giving you unparalleled clinical exposure to take with you to medical, nursing or PA school. For attendance purposes, students will be treated as employees, whose weekly presence will be vital and relied upon for clinic workflow. Unexcused absences will not be permitted.

To prepare you for the medical scribe role, you will receive extensive training online, in a classroom setting, and at the patient bedside. This involves:

  • Online courses
  • Interactive medical vocabulary quizzes
  • Interactive videos to simulate patient scenarios
  • 80% pass rate to continue to classroom training
  • Classroom training at your designated medical facility
  • Bedside training with a certified scribe trainer once you have passed classroom training

To be considered for the program, you must

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be eligible to work in the United States
  • Have not been convicted of a felony
  • Be willing and able to submit to a drug screening and background check
  • Be able to type 50 words per minute
  • Be willing to work nights, weekends and holidays

Students must make an appointment with Dr. Blain for an interview through the Letters and Science Advising Office. The candidate must submit a resume, photo and cover letter prior to the interview. If approved, the student will be directed to the program coordinator and continue with an application and additional evaluation. Students may earn up to two units for the externship by enrolling in INT 184PD and after successfully completing a case report and log of clinical insights.

For other clinical opportunities please go the Letters and Science Health Professions Website Volunteering and Internship Opportunities page.

Requirements

Visit the Honors Program requirements page for information.

The Health Science Scholars Commendation

Under Construction 

Contact Us

To schedule a pre-health academic advising appointment with Scott Kassner, please use the Make an Advising Appointment link, then choose Pre-health and select Requirements and Schedule Planning.

To schedule a career, application, or admissions advising appointment with Dr. Steve Blain, please go to the website and choose Pre-health and select Career Choices and Mentoring or Applications and Admissions.

Or to see Scott or Dr. Blain, call (805) 893-2038.

  Health Science Honors Program

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