Nearly 100 high school students from all over the state of Indiana attended the spring Mini Medical School event hosted by Indiana University School of Medicine students. The medical students are part of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. They’ve been holding the event twice a year for about 12 years.
“We want to help students who are interested in pursuing careers in medicine learn more about what that would look like and the different pathways they could take,” said Aubrey Kenefick, a fourth-year medical student and vice president/secretary of AOA. “There are so many different options—doctor, nurse, EMT, paramedic—so this is an opportunity for them to learn a little bit about each of those roles and ask us questions about what they’re interested in.”
The students were from Arsenal Tech, Crispus Attucks, Parke Heritage, Northeastern, Eminence Community, Switzerland County, Garrett, Culver Community, Northwester, Daleville, South Spencer and Kankakee Valley high schools. Many of the students come from backgrounds typically underrepresented in medicine. Others come from rural areas of Indiana that are still seeing physician shortages in many different specialties.
“We have medical students from all over the country at IU, but not many from Indianapolis Public Schools or from some rural parts of the state,” said Richard Gunderman, MD PhD, IUPUI Chancellor’s Professor and AOA faculty councilor. "We hope that this event will help encourage students to explore interests in health and hopefully help someday relieve the shortage of health care workers in these areas.”
After listening to a presentation about careers in medicine, the students received hands-on training at the Simulation Center in Fairbanks Hall. Among the stations were CPR, back boarding and C-spine protection, and heart and lung auscultation.
“Our theme this year was motor vehicle collisions, which is one of the leading causes of death in children and teens,” said Abby Delbridge, a third-year medical student. “We had medical students along with nursing students, paramedics and EMTs helping to host each station to provide an interactive, fun training experience for these students to learn more about an issue that their age group experiences.”