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March 10, 2021 | Downers Grove, IL
Students at Midwestern University’s Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (CCOM) created a new virtual program designed to introduce undergraduate and high school students to the many aspects of health science careers through lectures, interactive demonstrations, and scientific exploration.
CCOM students along with students from other academic programs at Midwestern University presented a virtual mini medical school on five consecutive Saturdays in January and February to more than 70 students from under-represented and diverse backgrounds.
“It was important for CCOM to do this to start building relationships with high schools and colleges that have diverse populations,” said Emily Mosher (CCOM 2022), one of the organizers of the event. “It is important that CCOM contributes to increasing the education and opportunities for minority students and showing them all the possibilities and resources that are available.”
Participants received a learning kit in the mail prior to the event to help them more fully engage in activities designed to teach basic anatomy and physiology. Sessions included an introduction to musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, respiratory, and neurological systems as well as an overview of careers in medicine and tips for applying to graduate-level healthcare programs.
The overall response from the participants was extremely positive and CCOM hopes to continue to offer a similar program on an annual basis and create an additional mentoring opportunity for interested students. “I was nervous taking this class because I was not sure if I would do well and I was worried that it would be extremely hard,” said one of the participants. “I then realized it was not hard at all because everything we learned in the class was extremely interesting to me. I believe that everyone should learn about these subjects because it could help save a life someday.”
CCOM students also learned valuable lessons throughout the program. “By working with the youth in the area we have a better idea of the specific hurdles and systemic discrimination young students in our community face. This allows us to educate ourselves on the resources available, helps us to be able to better understand our patient populations, and create more quality relationships,” Ms. Mosher added.