PULLMAN, Wash. — A summer program to inform high school students about medical careers is underway at Washington State University.
The Medical Scholars Program is designed to encourage students from rural areas and from minority groups to pursue health careers and to meet the need for health care professionals in rural areas. Now in its ninth year, the program has been very successful, said Mike Laskowski, director of the Basic Medical Science Program (WWAMI). The joint program of WSU and the University of Idaho reported last year that nearly 95 percent of the program’s former 190 participants continued to have an interest in health careers and that most were in studies leading to these professions.
During each week-long session, the students are exposed to a spectrum of health careers and learn how to prepare for them. They learn about healthy lifestyles and eating habits, how to take blood pressures and conduct screening exams. They also study case histories of real patients’ illnesses. The student participants work with health professionals as part of a medical research team and in a human anatomy lab. Tours of both rural and metropolitan health facilities are included in the program. During the final session, designed for Native American youths, a look at non-western medical traditions is presented.
Twelve students from Eastern Washington and Idaho are attending each of the summer sessions. Their selection was based on the recommendation of their high school counselor or principal. The sessions began the week of June 7 and continue June 21, and July 5 and 19.
The program, which covers most participant expenses, is funded by the WSU and University of Idaho WWAMI program, Eastern Washington and Idaho health education centers, The University of Washington School of Medicine and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Session coordinators are Phil Mohan, U of I professor of psychology, and Robert Wilson, WSU professor of veterinary microbiology and pathology.
NOTE TO EDITORS: Contact Sherry Swayze at the WSU WWAMI office at 335-2602 for further information or to arrange for photographs.