The Carle Illinois College of Medicine REACH program is an intensive clinical and research immersion summer experience for undergraduate students interested in pursuing a career as a physician. In addition to helping students prepare for medical school, REACH was developed to grow the presence of students underrepresented in the field of medicine.

The 10-week program will run from May 31 to July 29, 2022.

The application period for the 2022 summer program is now open. Applications, including letters of recommendation, must be received by February 18, 2022, for full consideration.

REACH Program Highlights

As a REACH participant, you will:

  • Be a part of a class of aspiring medical professionals.
  • Gain clinical and research immersion experience, while having access to the larger university Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP), maximizing your networking opportunities.
  • Work hand-in-hand with faculty mentors and graduate students during your research and clinical training.
  • Receive medical school admissions preparation and visit the JUMP Simulation Center.
  • Participate in professional workshops on a variety of topics to support your personal and professional growth, including a Research Writing Seminar designed to teach how to write and publish academic papers.
  • Present your research at the 2022 Illinois Summer Research Symposium at the end of your program.
  • Have access to the University of Illinois Library, one of the largest public academic libraries in the United States.
  • Have an opportunity to exchange ideas and broaden your knowledge through research team participation.
      • You will be assigned to a research team consisting of participants from similar majors. Your team will meet regularly under the leadership of a Research Team Leader who is pursuing an advanced degree in a related field of study. The research team serves as a mechanism to help refine your research project and build relationships with other students.
  • Receive a $5,000 stipend for participation in the REACH program and 3-4 hours of independent study credit.

REACH student participants will receive room and board for the duration of the program, as well as travel expenses to and from the summer program.

All applicants must be citizens of the United States or hold permanent residency status.

Check back for the 2022 Extended REACH Webinar Series Information or sign up below to receive updates!

Sign-up for our REACH mailing list to receive program updates, webinar offerings, and news relevant to students interested in medical school and/or the healthcare field.


Lisa Goodpaster

2021 Extended REACH Webinar Series

Free webinars featuring experts in their fields, including Carle Illinois College of Medicine and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign:
7/8 at 11 a.m. CDT – Music and Mental Health Care

Rising suicide rates within the Black community has led scholars to focus on Black mental health (Price and Khubchandani 2019). Studies reveal that Blacks are less likely to initiate and continue formal mental health care, leaving many eager to investigate the alternative practices they employ (Price and Khubchandani 2019). This panel will situate rap music in this discussion as a mental health intervention. Budding rappers/producers from Maryland, J. Enni$ and Wonimo, will relay the ways in which the creative process has served as a coping mechanism.

7/15 at 2 p.m. CDT – Medical School Admissions 101

Join us on Thursday, July 15, for Admissions 101 with Jessica Williams. We will talk about the basics of applying for medical school, including a review of the application timeline, the elements of the AMCAS and secondary applications, and how your application is reviewed by an admissions committee. We’ll also share some tips on challenging things like asking for letters of reference and talking about your personal experiences. Gear up for application season by learning what to expect and when to expect it!

Jessica Williams, Carle Illinois College of Medicine, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana
Jessica Williams
7/22 at 2 p.m. CDT – How Health Equity is Saving Managed Care

Andrew Martin, National Operations Director for Housing + Health at UnitedHealthcare, will discuss ‘How Health Equity is Saving Managed Care.’ What was once considered a sudden spasmodic idea has quickly led the innovation movement for Social Determinants of Health investment in our country. UnitedHealthcare has a $500 million health equity investment currently in circulation. Let’s unpack the reason for the investment, where it’s going, and uncover the social good and how it affects the bottom line.

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin


Q: What is the format of the EXTENDED REACH Online Learning Experience?
A: Each online learning session will be offered via a one-hour Zoom webinar. After hearing from a content expert, you will have the ability to submit questions to the presenter.

Q: Do I need to be admitted into the EXTENDED REACH Program to participate?
A: Our traditional REACH Program requires an application. However, our EXTENDED REACH Program is an online learning opportunity available to anyone who would like to participate, without an application and admittance process.

Q: Do I need to be a student underrepresented in medicine to participate?
A: The traditional REACH Program was designed to provide a pathway experience for students underrepresented in medicine. While many of the online learning experiences will still be designed for these students in mind, this online opportunity is available to anyone who would like to participate.

Past Extended REACH Webinars

With Ruby Mendenhall, Ph.D., Assistant Dean for Diversity and Democratization of Health Innovation, Carle Illinois College of Medicine

In this session, Ruby Mendenhall will share how STEM Illinois is expanding our ecosystem of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to inspire youth from diverse backgrounds and learning styles to explore STEM education and career opportunities. From a Communiversity Think and Do Tank, a Communiversity Wellness Center, and a new lab to decrease health disparities and promote health equity by addressing the social determinants of health in the Carle Illinois Health Maker Lab, you can learn about the many STEM and health-related initiatives we’re pursuing in the Champaign area.

With Jennifer Crum, MS, Senior Assistant Director, Health Professions Advising, The Career Center at Illinois

In this webinar, we will discuss strategies to identify and solidify meaningful opportunities for your growth and experience as you explore careers in health. From building your resume to better understanding your interests, this webinar will equip you with strategies to pursue the right opportunities for your goals.

With Martin Burke M.D., Ph.D., Associate Dean for Research, Carle Illinois College of Medicine

We all care about being healthy. Yet only a small fraction of the 7.7 billion people throughout the world currently have the opportunity to transform new ideas for improving healthcare into testable prototypes. At Carle Illinois, we aim to harness this tremendous untapped human potential by democratizing health innovation and thereby empowering individuals and communities around the globe to help address some of the most important challenges facing society today. In this webinar, we’ll focus on how Dr. Burke’s lab is developing a platform that has been leveraged to develop molecular prosthetics–small molecules that autonomously perform protein-like functions and thus have the potential to treat a wide range of currently incurable diseases, including cystic fibrosis and anemias. Continued advances in these directions have the potential to democratize and thereby broadly empower nextgen molecular innovation.

With Kevin Teal, M.D., Neurosurgeon at Carle Hospital, and Clinical Instructor at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

In this webinar, Dr. Kevin Teal will share about his career in neurosurgery, and share how passion and perseverance result in grit—a crucial key to success along one’s journey. 

Content inspired by the book Grit by Angela Duckworth.

With Colin Van Orman, M.S., Student Affairs Coordinator at Carle Illinois College of Medicine, and Heather Wright, M.S., Director of Student Success at Carle Illinois College of Medicine

In this session, we’ll provide an overview of the medical school admissions process. Topics include:

  • Defining holistic review and understanding what it means in practice
  • Action steps to prepare a robust AMCAS application
  • Secondary applications and how to approach them

With Joe Bradley, Ph.D., Clinical Assistant Professor in the Bioengineering Department at The Grainger College of Engineering and Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Did you know that access to energy is also a healthcare issue? Joe Bradley will share about his work with the company, Sun Buckets, that provides energy solutions to the energy-impoverished. This company not only provides energy, but also improves health conditions for many around the world.