Local students find out what it’s like to pursue a medical career in new enrichment course.
School may be out for the summer, but for a group of local high school students, medical education is in full swing—at least for one special week.
Eighteen students from local high schools were offered the chance to experience life as a medical student as part of Week of Medicine, a new summer enrichment course hosted by The Warren Alpert Medical School in partnership with Central Falls High School. As part of the July program, 10th- and 11th-graders participated in workshops that introduced them to careers in health, engaged in hands-on experiences in medicine and science, and received mentorship from medical school faculty and students.
At the start of the Week of Medicine, students were asked to write about what they hoped to get out of the program and to reflect on their own confidence and self-efficacy—in other words, could they someday see themselves studying medicine and working in the field?
The hope was that by the time they left, the answer to all of the above would be an enthusiastic yes.
“The goal of this pathways program is to take interested high school students, especially those who are members of groups that are underrepresented in medicine, and to expand their sense of what’s possible in terms of careers in health and medicine,” says Luckson Omoaregba, MS, director of pathways programs at the Medical School. “We want to help the students start down a path toward becoming future leaders in these professional fields. And just as importantly, we want them to have fun.”
Most students in the program—which is funded in part by the Rhode Island Department of Education and comes at no cost to families—come from groups that are underrepresented in medicine. Ten are from Central Falls; others are from Providence, Cumberland, Johnston, and other towns in northern Rhode Island. Depending on their school, students may be able to earn course credit for completing the program.