What was the highlight of your summer? For 46 high school students from San Diego County, “seeing and touching a human brain” is their answer.
For the last four years, the FACES San Diego program, under Rady Children’s Center for Healthier Communities, has led the Summer Medical Academy (SMA). This unique and exciting two-week program, adopted from the FACES for the Future Coalition’s Summer Medical Academy, also seeks to inspire high school students interested in medicine to explore careers in healthcare and become caring and insightful professionals in a complex and rapidly changing world. Through lectures, skills clinics, hands-on activities, group projects, career panels, and interactive discussions with professionals, the goal is to reinforce and increase students’ enthusiasm to pursue healthcare careers. Over the course of the intensive program, more than 125 faculty members from Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego, the UCSD School of Medicine, UCSD Skaggs School of Pharmacy, Illumina, and the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine engage with students and share their knowledge and expertise. For the 2017 SMA participants, experiences ranged from suturing a pigs foot; placing a soft cast on a friend’s arm; having an acupuncture needle placed in their forehead after an Eastern Medicine assessment; and learning how to use breakthrough medical technology.
This year, students also took a deep look at one of the most pressing topics of our time – Prescription Drug Abuse. Under the direction of Dr. Glenn Billman, Chief Quality Officer at Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego, students tackled this topic head on. During the two weeks, they conducted their own research; interviewed key experts in various sectors such as government, schools, law enforcement, pharmacy, and healthcare; and discussed their own personal experience and stories in their communities. At the graduation ceremony, they presented their recommendations for addressing the problem as well as presented a 30-second PSA they created that was directed towards their peers. Students truly took to heart that theywanted to be part of the solution, not the problem.
Due to the success of past programs and interest throughout our community, we are excited to share that additional Medical Academies will be coming soon! This will include two-2 week Summer Medical Academies, as well as school year programs such as weekend intensives and career-specific forums. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can join us at Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego, contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about FACES San Diego.