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MUSC Medical Links Charleston Links Archives Catalyst Advertisers Seminars and Events Research Studies Public Relations Research Grants MUSC home page Community Happenings Campus News Applause


Academy draws bright minds to health care

by Cindy Abole

Public Relations
During early summer, it is typical to find teenagers at a nearby beach, on vacation or spending time with their friends. For about 31 young men and women, their first weeks of June were spent with their peers learning some fundamentals needed to become successful physicians, nurses, dentists or other type of health care professionals.
For the sixth year, the South Carolina Health Education Consortium (SC AHEC) and MUSC teamed up to offer the Summer Careers Academy, held June 6-11 in Charleston.
Students Shanikiah Blake, Danequa Bacchus and Tierra Bailey share details about diabetes with Summer Academy fellows and guests during the June 11 poster session. Not pictured is Kennisha Mack.

The program is designed to help students, especially minority and disadvantaged individuals, as they get the chance to explore careers in medicine and health care within South Carolina. The program is co-sponsored by SC AHEC and MUSC’s colleges of Dental Medicine, Nursing, Medicine and the MUSC Library.
Participants must be South Carolina residents, age 18 or older, and must be enrolled or accepted into an accredited college or university for Fall 2010. They must also show an interest or desire in studying nursing, medicine or dentistry.
“Our goal is to catch students early on especially as they begin their undergraduate education and plan and make decisions about their careers,” said Angelica Christie, SC AHEC Health Careers Program director. “This program allows participants to get important information and be guided by the programs and institutions that teach and prepare our state’s health professionals. Students who complete this program should have the knowledge and experience to make some informed decisions about their course work, activities and professional networking behaviors necessary to prepare them in college and beyond.”
The academy was established in 2004 as a program to increase interest in nursing throughout South Carolina. Its success later expanded to include dental students (2006) and medical students (2008). Christie hopes the program will expand and include additional health career fields in future sessions and continue to attract talented students.
A key component to the program is an emphasis on interprofessional training where students form and are taught the value of interdisciplinary health teams, a practice that is being used widely in hospitals and health care institiutions. Working in teams enhance a student learning, communication and sharing of experiences, according to Christie.
Florence native John Duncan, an incoming College of Charleston freshman, enjoyed the interactive team training in MUSC’s new Simulation Center located in the College of Nursing.
Roysean Philson, also of the College of Charleston,  liked the hands-on teaching approach offered at the Simulation Center and review of the gross anatomy lab. Philson’s shadowing experience paired him with Children’s Hospital pediatricians James Roberts, M.D., and Luther Williams, M.D.
“I would not have learned what I did in that one week without participating in the job shadowing and other summer academy experiences,” said Philson. “I realized that this experience could potentially open some important doors that could help me achieve my goal of becoming a doctor.”
In addition to the student’s positive experiences, participating faculty praised the program’s successes. College of Dental Medicine diversity director Gwendolyn Brown, DMD, has participated in the health careers program since 2006, the first year the dental track was offered to students interested in dentistry. For 2010, she was glad to work with three dental career academy students: Alicia Lamar, Jaquanique Sanders and Charles Wingate. The team won third place in the annual interdisciplinary poster competition.
“The dental students, as well as all academy participants, did a wonderful job,” said Brown. Dental student fellows must meet additional criteria and must have completed a minimum of 12 hours of academic credit from an accredited college or university.
The interdisciplinary poster project challenges all academy students to learn and report on a wide range of health care topics from obesity, osteoporosis and bone regeneration to diabetes and advanced technologies and other health disparities. Throughout the program, teams conducted research and translated their findings in a PowerPoint presentation on the academy’s final day, June 11.
Winners in the poster presentations were: first place—“Osteoporosis: Bad to the Bone” by Megan Thompson, Christina Bodison, Demetria Bumster and Essence Jackson; second place—“Price of a Snack (Diabetes)” by Lakedra Robinson, Taylor Priester, Austin Gray and Elizabeth Brown; and third place—“How do medicines used for osteoporosis affect dental treatment” by Lamar, Sanders and Wingate. Academy fellows also recognized Wingate with the program’s peer role model award.

Friday, July 15, 2010

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