What is PSDO 230?

PSDO 230 is a 3-credit hour course targeting outstanding 2nd and 3rd year students interested in a career as a physician. The course provides access to medical professionals across the UAB system in both the clinical and classroom setting. Attendance at the weekly, 2hr classroom-based interactive panel sessions is required. This in-person component discusses topics directly related to the admissions process, life in medical school, being a physician, and research in medicine. The second main component of the course requires students to complete a number of shadowing opportunities across various clinical settings at UAB.

If you have considered applying to medical school and feel this course may benefit you, we encourage you to apply.

When is the course offered?

For Fall 2023, PSDO 230 will be held on Wednesday afternoons from 2:30PM-4:30PM. Please arrange your schedules accordingly. Note: It is anticipated that the application process will be highly competitive. Students should NOT count on PSDO fulfilling the minimum hours to be a full time student until they have received permission from the instructor to enroll.

What would I be getting into?

Each student in the 3-credit hour course will be assigned a letter grade based upon:

    • class attendance
    • discussion participation, which includes classroom participation, online discussion participation and completing brief reading assignments prior to some classes
    • completion of shadowing (minimum of 15hrs) and journaling of patient encounters
    • assembling a poster based upon the specialty of one of your shadowing preceptors


The course requires healthcare shadowing activities. As such, all potential students need to be prepared to complete HIPAA training, provide documentation of prior vaccinations, and will need to complete additional health screening measures (includes up to date flu shot, COVID Vaccination, and TB screening). To facilitate shadowing opportunities during the semester, students should do their best to protect blocks of time (8am-noon, 1pm-5pm Mon-Fri), although the class also provides shadowing opportunities on nights and weekends.


If you are interested in enrolling in PSDO 230 this fall, please submit an application. Applications are now being accepted. Review of applications will begin on April 14th, will rolling enrollment offers starting at that time. Thus for full consideration for participation, please try and have applications submitted by then, however there is not an application deadline.  Applications will be considered pending until UAB Medicine provides approval for course enrollment.

Due to the nature of the small group and interactive panels that will occur throughout the semester as well as the patient interactions required of students, the course has limited enrollment and registration will be granted by the instructor. All interested students are required to submit an online application, with only accepted applications receiving permission to enroll.

What does the application require?

To apply, students will need to have maintained a minimum GPA of 3.3, complete a brief personal statement, and have up to 2 recommendation forms completed by UAB faculty on their behalf. Additional details and the application itself can be found on the 'Application Page'.

Application Process

All applicants will need to have maintained a 3.3 GPA. Students will also be required to submit a personal statement of no more than 1 page that answers the following:

    • Who are you?
    • What do you think you might want to do as a career and why?
    • Why do you think this course will help you get where you want to go?

Enrollment in the course is at the discretion of the course director, and is offered to excellent students that are most likely to benefit from the curriculum. Applicants should take time with the personal statement to explain their interests and what they want to learn and experience.

Finally, each applicant will need to have 1-2 (at least one, no more than two accepted) standardized letters of reference. Once the student application is submitted the reference(s) listed on the application will receive an email with a link requesting he/she complete the reference form. Applicants should carefully choose references that can speak not only to their academic performance, but their engagement in activities outside the classroom and interest in the field of medicine.

Based upon prior offerings of this course, we anticipate entry to PSDO 230 will be highly competitive. Preference will be given to those applicants who can demonstrate that the course will benefit their career path. Thus, acceptance to the course depends on an individual’s background and career goals, in addition to GPA. The burden is on the student to submit a strong application that clearly conveys their career goals and how the course will further their professional development

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Contact Information

Nathaniel Erdmann, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Associate Clinical Director for PSDO
Med-Infectious Diseases