Through a partnership with a local school, several UC faculty members spent this winter introducing medicine to a group of students much younger than the typical med school class.
Led by Joseph Moellman, MD, associate professor of emergency medicine, faculty from the department of emergency medicine and biomedical engineering worked with the Lasallian Scholars Institute at La Salle High School to present all aspects of academic medicine to a group of high school sophomores.
The honors program was designed to give top-tier students at La Salle, an all-male Catholic high school in Green Township, an introduction to one field per quarter: health care, engineering, information technology and management and global business. The goal, says program director Michael Holman, is to give students career-focused information to bridge the gap between their classroom work and the real world after graduation and college.
"We want them to be engaged with the business community and engaged with the city," says Holman, "to see the local community as a great place to further their careers through an in-depth look at local companies, while simultaneously learning skills they will need to connect and succeed in the marketplace in general."
This cohort of sophomores heard lectures from UC emergency medicine faculty including vice chair for research Chris Lindsell, PhD, who spoke about medical research; professor Edward Otten, MD, disaster medicine; assistant professor Bill Knight, MD, traumatic brain injury, and associate professor of biomedical engineering Mary Beth Privitera, MDesign, medical device design.
The series culminated in a visit to the College of Medicine Friday, Jan. 13. Students toured the emergency department at UC Health University Hospital and learned about the history of emergency medicine from professor Alexander Trott, MD, in UC’s surgical amphitheater.
They also heard from Dean of Admissions Aurora Bennett, MD, and toured the Medical Sciences Building.
For exposure to training and research areas, they visited the simulation room and labs of associate professors Chip Shaw III, MD, PhD, and Andra Blomkalns, MD.
"Research is how we are going to come up with the ‘next generation’ of therapies to treat human disease,” says Shaw, "and I think students need to see just how exciting it can be to come up with a potential new therapy at the lab bench that clinicians can use to treat their patients. One can really make an impact by devising new therapies that can improve patient care.”
Moellman, a La Salle alum, sits on the program’s health care advisory board and plans to continue the collaboration next year.
"After seeing the emergency department , several of the students said, ‘This doesn’t look like the ERs we’ve experienced,’” says Moellman. "They just didn’t understand the intricacy of what we do—the research, our work with Air Care and Mobile Care, our partnership with the College of Medicine.
"The visit and the partnership with La Salle is a win-win situation. It helps UC to let the community know what we do and, for La Salle, to help the students get a handle on what medicine involves, specifically emergency medicine. This can help them decide if they have an interest in the field—it’s a good idea to start early.”