SCIENCE IN ACTION: High schoolers enroll for first-of-its-kind “Week at the Medical School”

By JABSOM and UHM Outreach College Faculty and Staff

Imagine learning about a patient with chest pain…placing a stethoscope in your ears, listening to a heartbeat…and figuring out the cause. Imagine holding a human heart in your hand. Imagine that the heart of a computerized manikin (which looks very human) stops suddenly, and you’re responsible for getting it to beat again!

Now imagine how inspired you’ll be to pursue a career in healthcare with these hands-on and engaging learning experiences led by a highly distinguished teacher! It’s all happening this week at the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), in partnership with the University of Hawai`i Mānoa Outreach College.

High school students are doing all that and more all day, every day this week in a brand-new outreach course previously unavailable to anyone other than medical students and physicians.

9241913683_9dd7330503_zStudents from 9th grade to seniors were allowed to enroll in the course, which costs $700. Generous donors subsidized part of the cost, so each student is paying $475. The one-week course includes gross anatomy laboratory demonstrations, clinical skills laboratories, computerized manikin simulations, and standardized patient interactions, designed to:

• Teach students to describe the epidemiology, signs and symptoms, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of illnesses common in Hawaiʻi;
• Teach students to perform basic clinical skills such as measuring vital signs and listening to the heart and lungs with stethoscopes;
• Teach students to interview and counsel patients.

About 90% of the medical students who enter JABSOM each year are Hawai`i residents, because JABSOM believes Hawai`i needs physicians of and for Hawai`i. One of our JABSOM graduates includes Dr. Damon Sakai, the Director of Medical Student Education at JABSOM, who is pictured leading a course teaching the high school students how to check a patient’s vital signs. Stay tuned this week for more coverage here on UHMEDNow.

The John A. Burns School of Medicine Communications Director contributed to this story.

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