Engaging youth in medicine

New summer program for high school students interested in science and medicine

For most high schoolers, highlights of the summer include sleeping in, hanging out with friends and going on vacation. For Lynnville-Sully High School senior Katelyn Van Wyk, a summer highlight was taking measurements of the cadavers at DMU.

“It is such a unique experience and made me excited for my future of learning more about the human body,” she says.

Van Wyk was one of nine central Iowa high school seniors who explored science and medicine in a pilot program June 15-19 offered by DMU and the Central Iowa AHEC.

During the inaugural “Youth Education in Science and Medicine” camp, or YES MED, participants experienced cases in the simulation laboratory, observed suturing demonstrations and osteopathic manual medicine treatments, learned to monitor blood glucose levels and investigated infectious diseases.

“I also enjoyed working with current med students and being able to ask them questions and learn first-hand from them and the professors,” says YES MED participant Amber McNace, a senior at Dallas Center-Grimes High School.

Program organizers plan to offer YES MED every summer to highly qualified applicants. Like this year, the Central Iowa AHEC will recruit the students, and DMU faculty and students will teach and guide them.

“YES MED reaffirmed the students’ interest in science and medicine and, for some, opened their eyes to career opportunities,” says Jill Whitson, executive director of the Central Iowa AHEC.

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