Inspiring teens for healthcare careers

May 3, 2012 5:43 AM

Fran Simon

Seniors graduating this spring from the New Orleans Charter Science and Math Academy are college-bound, and many of them plan to pursue healthcare careers. The teens got an infusion of healthcare training this semester thanks to a group of Tulane medical students in a service-learning course.


Healthcare careers

Tulane medical students Kayla Bronder, right, and Sara Gore, center, work with a group of high school students from Sci Academy on their “ER” skit about depression and suicide. (Photos by Paula Burch-Celentano)

The Tulane group emulated a program that was started in Philadelphia at Lankenau Medical Center of the Main Line Health System, which teaches by using scenes from the “ER” TV show. In doing so, the medical students mentored 30 Sci Academy seniors in history-taking, diagnosis, disease management and treatment, and health education.

Healthcare careers

Second-year medical student Eric Shaw watches his team, including Darrian Ford, a senior at Sci Academy who will attend Louisiana State University, make the winning presentation about diabetes.

The medical students went to Sci Academy to speak about becoming doctors. Later, at the Tulane Center for Advanced Medical Simulation and Team Training, the high school students enjoyed hands-on demonstrations of how to use a defibrillator, put in an IV line and other skills.

At the conclusion of the 10-week program, headed up by second-year medical student Yihan Chen, the teens presented information they learned. One group enacted a scene with kids playing the roles of family members of a man who “says he feels like he has an elephant sitting on his chest.” A student in the role of physician said, “It’s a good thing you called 911 — your father may be having a heart attack.”

The students then discussed “what an ST-elevation AMI looks like on EKG compared to normal, and the acute reason for why their patient had a heart attack — basic, basic pathology,” said medical student Anoop Kar.

The service-learning course was part of the Foundations in Medicine core curriculum for first- and second-year students at the Tulane School of Medicine.

“Dr. Barry Mann in Philadelphia had a great idea — to use medical students to give high school students a goal to aim for, to help them answer the question: Where do you want to go from college?,” said Dr. Jim Korndorffer, medical director of the simulation center.



Citation information:

Page accessed: Friday, May 27, 2016
Page URL:

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000