November 09, 2022 | Downers Grove, IL
Students at Midwestern University’s Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (CCOM) presented a unique learning opportunity designed to introduce nearly 100 high school and college students from under-represented communities to the many aspects of health science careers through lectures, interactive demonstrations, and scientific exploration. The CCOM students along with students from other academic programs at Midwestern University presented a free, hands-on Mini-Medical School on five consecutive Saturdays in October and November.
The participants learned about a variety of healthcare specialties and received an introduction to musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, respiratory, and neurological systems as well as tips for applying to graduate-level healthcare programs. “I plan to go to medical school and this experience opened my eyes to other healthcare specialties. I always thought I wanted to go into orthopedics, but because of this experience, I’m considering other fields. This program also showed me what to expect as a medical school student,” said Ahmad Porter, a junior at Jackson State University.
Participants also received individual mentorship from the medical students and created a scientific poster which they presented on the final day of the program. “Working on the scientific poster was a good experience and allowed me to dive deeper into a topic and learn what it would be like to present at a medical conference. I'm hoping to specialize in anesthesia in the future and so I chose an anesthesiology case to present,” said Jocelyn Leon, a junior at Lane Tech College Prep High School.
The CCOM student organizers also gained valuable experience at the Mini Medical School. “I think for the medical students, this program gives us a reminder of why we chose to study medicine and gives us the opportunity to work on our communication, organization, and teaching skills while spending time with young people who are interested in healthcare,” said Danielle Voke, M.P.H., a second-year student at the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine and one of the organizers of the event. “Many of us are first-generation college students or medical students and we didn't know anyone in the medical field when we were in high school. We didn't know what the process was or how to apply to medical school. This event is an opportunity for us to pay it forward and help build that connection for these students and share with them what we’ve learned.”
The CCOM Mini Medical School is one of several programs offered by Midwestern University for high school and college students designed to ignite their interest in healthcare careers.