UVM College of Medicine students Ramya Ghantasala '19; Quinn Self '19; Omkar Betageri '19; Daniel Lambert '19; Marc Vecchio; Christopher Bernard '19; and Anita Li '19. (Photo: UVM COM Design & Photography)
Banana suturing, splint-making and stethoscopes were on the agenda at the second annual Med Mentors Health Career Exploration Day on March 12, where College of Medicine students became teachers for more than 80 area high school students.
Organized by Med Mentors SIG members Ramya Ghantasala ’19, Daniel Lambert ’19, and Anita Li ’19, the event opened with a presentation by Jessica Barrow, M.P.H., a former health careers educator at the Champlain Valley Area Health Education Center, and featured a wide variety of morning and afternoon concurrent breakout stations. Members of the Surgery SIG ran a suturing clinic, while the Wilderness Medicine SIG shared tips about health care in the wild, the Family Medicine SIG helped attendees practice vital sign exams, and a fourth station focused on medical ethics.
“I decided at age 12 that I wanted to go into emergency or trauma medicine,” said attendee and Champlain Valley Union High School student Ryan Martin, a junior who especially liked the suturing activity. “This is a good opportunity for kids who may not know what they want to go into.”
Burlington High School junior and Burlington Technical Center Sports and Medical Sciences student Bidhya Chamlagai wants to go into nursing. It was her second year participating in the event. “I’m excited to come back,” she said. “It helped me confirm what I want to do. Being from a different country without good medicine, it’s satisfying to be able to help people.”
Small group lunches each featured a medical student and practicing health professional – either a physician, nurse, EMT or health education staff person. Faculty, staff and medical students guided attendees and their chaperones through afternoon rotations in the Pathology Lab and Clinical Simulation Lab, including presentations in the Outpatient Simulation Lab about the role of Standardized Patients in medical education, following which the entire group met in the Sullivan Classroom for a wrap-up and ice cream.
“Having lunch with medical students and clinicians was really helpful,” said Mount Mansfield Union sophomore Eli Ogilvie.
Danyeh Gutema, a junior at Essex High School, who was a first-time attendee, said “I didn’t know half of the medical field jobs that were discussed. It was helpful to hear how you have to start preparing as an undergrad.”