Sade-joy Dugbo had an idea that a career in health care might be part of her future. After spending the last week of July in the UMKC School of Medicine’s Advance Summer Scholars program, she’s convinced.
As she prepared for her senior year at Kansas City’s Notre Dame de Sion High School, Dugbo joined a group of nearly 85 area high school juniors and seniors taking part in a one- or two-week experience in the health care profession.
“Actually, seeing what it’s like to be a medical student, seeing first-hand what they do, what the doctors do, has really changed my view of what the medical field is like,” Dugbo said.
For 38 years, the Summer Scholars program has provided minority and disadvantaged students in the Kansas City metropolitan area the opportunity to find out first-hand what a career in health care looks like. The program also prepares them to be successful as they move from high school to college.
Students take part in a two-week session of Summer Scholars each July during which they receive daily instruction in academic areas such as chemistry and language arts, and study anatomy and physiology in the school’s cadaver lab. Classroom experiences range from medical terminology and understanding health disparities to ACT and standardized test taking.
Those who complete the two-week session can return the following summer to take part in the Advanced Summer Scholars, which provides additional experiences in different medical services such as emergency and outpatient medicine, rehabilitation, and nursing. This year’s advanced group was treated to additional hospital experiences including viewing surgeries in the operating room and shadowing students and physicians at Children’s Mercy Kansas City.
The experience for advanced scholars was broken into two one-week sessions this year in order to allow more students to take part. Dugbo was part of the first session of Advanced Summer Scholars.
“The ability to shadow the doctors and see the students in the hospitals was huge because I got to see how they interact with patients and what their daily lives were like,” she said.
The hospital experiences opened the eyes of Emily Reed, a senior at Winnetonka High School who was also part of the Advanced Summer Scholars.
“Last year it was more time learning chemistry and biology,” she said. “This year, there’s a lot more time in the hospital where last year it was mainly shadowing medical students in the clinic. The good thing about this program is that it showed me a variety of areas of medicine. I thought I was dead set on going into one area of medicine because I’ve always been interested in surgery. But now, it’s going to be a matter of seeing how many choices I have and what decision I’m going to make in the future.”
Dugbo said that it’s still too early to say what field of medicine she’d like to enter or where she will go to school in the future, but her experiences these past two summers has made her sure of one thing. Her plan is to start looking into pre-medical school programs soon, and that includes applying to the UMKC School of Medicine.
“We learned this is what you’ll be doing in medical school, this is what you’ll be doing after medical school. It’s really solidified what I want to do in the future,” Dugbo said. “Now, it’s 100 percent, I want do something in the medical field because I’ve loved this experience.”