Students from Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine say they understand the importance of being exposed to medicine early — and recently set out to make it happen for area youngsters.
Reach Out to Youth was held Nov. 12 on the campus of OUWB.
Elementary-age students from Pontiac took part in hands-on experiments based on the theme of “Bacteria is Mean: Keep It Clean with Healthy Hygiene.” Specific topics covered included herd immunity, contagion spread, handwashing, and more.
Organizers said the overall intent was to get students excited about medicine and health care, and understand that they, too, could one day be doctors.
“This program is the first-of-its-kind in bringing elementary students and their parents to OUWB to plant the seed that careers in medicine are possible for them and to attempt to connect parents to resources to help their families be successful,” said Rose Wedemeyer, Ph.D., director of Education Training at OUWB.
Wedemeyer and other OUWB officials, the Student National Medical Association (SNMA), and the Reach Out to Youth nonprofit collaborated on the event.
Funding for the program was received from OUWB’s Passport to Medicine program, along with OUWB Diversity & Inclusion (which purchased white coats for participating students), and Reach Out to Youth.
“It’s all about the kids,” said Carolyn King, M.D., co-founder, Reach Out to Youth.
“We want the kids to think about their careers, and to see young medical students who are studying to be doctors,” she said. “These medical students are generally in their 20s…that makes it easier for younger kids to relate and see that a career in medicine isn’t necessarily that far away.”
(Only partial stories are posted here with hopes to provide a brief overview and introduction to my most recent work. The full version of this story may be found on the OUWB InMedicine site here.)