Midwestern University Hosts Med-Start High School Student Group

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June 30, 2022 | Glendale, AZ

Student and professor using dummy

On June 16, Midwestern University welcomed 48 high school students to campus for a morning of hands-on healthcare lab activities. In collaboration with the University of Arizona, these students (all juniors) are getting a head start in their college careers by participating in Med-Start, a program that exposes students to the many possibilities of a career in healthcare. The group participated in introductory activities for four different healthcare careers.

The first stop was in Cholla Hall, where Melanie Jordan, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, Glendale, and several MWU pharmacy students guided the group through a day in the life of a pharmacist. They practiced reading and filling out prescriptions, and even got to use a traditional mortar and pestle to crush candies into powder, which they then measured, weighed, and placed into gelatin capsules to learn about compounding medications.

For the second activity, the Med-Start students migrated over to Glendale Hall, where Pierce Kenworthy, O. D., Assistant Professor, Arizona College of Optometry, and Matthew Roe, O. D., Assistant Professor, Arizona College of Optometry, delved into the world of optometry. Students got to see details from patient cases and learned about the many ways an optometrist can help their communities. Dr. Kenworthy then showed them how to use the optometry laboratory equipment to examine their fellow classmates’ eyes. Additionally, Dr. Roe led hands-on activities in vision rehabilitation, further demonstrating the reach of an optometrist’s care.

Afterwards, students headed upstairs to the podiatry lab, where Janna Kroleski, D. P. M., Assistant Professor, Arizona College of Podiatric Medicine (AZCPM) and student, Alexandria Osorio, AZCPM ’24 introduced them to the many roles of a podiatrist. After reviewing the perks of the profession and the different specialties available in podiatric medicine, the group then got to practice their suturing skills with a suturing kit. Many of the students were interested in pursuing a career as a surgeon, so getting to pick up the tools of the trade really helped them envision themselves achieving this career goal.

The final stop of the day was in the nurse anesthesia lab, where Rodney Fisher, Ph.D., CRNA, Program Director, Nurse Anesthesia; Angela Burgess, D.N.A.P. CRNA, M.S.N., Assistant Professor, Nurse Anesthesia; and David Good, DNP, CRNA, M.S.N., Assistant Professor, Nurse Anesthesia; Lee Ranalli, DNP, CRNA, Associate Professor, Nurse Anesthesia; and Melissa Renalli, DNP, CRNA, M. S. N., Assistant Program Director, Nurse Anesthesia, provided an in-depth overview of the career. Students learned how to intubate a mannequin, check vital signs, monitor airways, and use ultrasound tools. The best part was that they all got hands-on experience with the many tools a nurse anesthetist uses on a daily basis.

At the end of the morning, students grabbed a boxed lunch courtesy of the Arizona College of Podiatric Medicine.

Midwestern University continues to demonstrate its commitment to inspiring the next generation of healthcare professionals by hosting events for high school outreach programs such as Med-Start. Every year, Midwestern organizes and hosts the Arizona Regional Brain Bee, the Health Sciences Career Day, and the Health Careers Institute for High School Students from all over the state of Arizona. Each program is designed to give students a clear picture of the many opportunities that await them in the diverse field of healthcare.