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MUSCMedical LinksCharleston LinksArchivesCatalyst AdvertisersSeminars and EventsResearch StudiesPublic RelationsResearch GrantsMUSC home pageCommunity HappeningsCampus NewsApplause


Experience reaffirms career choice

by Connor Watkins
Public Relations
While deciding on a career can be overwhelming, statewide college students participating in the South Carolina Area Health Education Consortium (AHEC) Nursing, Dental and Medicine Career Academy said this experience has reaffirmed their choice of occupation.
“It’s a good thing to hear first-hand what to expect,” said Stella Njenga, a senior biology major at Allen University. “Meeting faculty, going to class and meeting fellow students who are practicing as well makes me feel like if they can do it, I can do it too.”
Academy students test their hand-eye coordination and depth perception with the fundamentals of laparoscopic surgery (FLS) training station, which is designed for use in the residency training program.
In conjunction with the College of Nursing, College of Dental Medicine and Project EXPORT (Excellence in Partnerships for community Outreach, Research on health disparities, and Training), the academy gives students from different colleges in South Carolina, who are interested in dentistry, nursing and medicine, the opportunity to learn about each profession. Six years since its establishment, this year's program featured the highest number of academy fellows, 31.
For one week, participants attended sessions as an interprofessional group and in their  respective  disciplines . They also heard from MUSC deans and faculty on building resumes, choosing academic courses, job interviews and how to pursue a health care degree. On the final day, the group gave a  poster presentation, which was evaluated by MUSC faculty and staff.
A new experience offered to the students by the program was a visit to the MUSC Healthcare Simulation Center in the College of Nursing. Opened in June 2008, the simulation center focuses on preparing students and health care professionals for patient care and specialty procedures by having them learn with patient simulators the various abilities they exhibit ranging from carrying a pulse to delivering a baby. Academy students observed how the  simulators operate and learned about the different medical procedures and practices and how they are assessed.
As the students move forward in their academic careers, the program will follow them to accumulate success stories  and monitor their academic progress. Previous student accomplishments include becoming a dental assistant, pursuing a career in podiatry and landing a job at MUSC.
Gwendolyn B. Brown, DMD, director of diversity, College of Dental Medicine, wants these students to leave the program feeling confident and self-assured about their careers. “They need to be sure this is really what they want to do and that, ultimately, is to take care of mankind and you have to have a passion and desire to do that.”

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Catalyst Online is published weekly by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. The Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to The Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.