Tag Archives: Prospective Students

Rural medicine program expansion leads to School of Medicine renovation projects

A rendering of  the School of Medicine’s new second-floor learning space. Rendering by Odimo, LLC.

Missouri is getting help with its rural physician shortage from the UMKC School of Medicine.

In addition to planning a major expansion of its rural medicine campus at Mosaic Life Care in St. Joseph, the medical school is making renovations to its Kansas City building in the Health Sciences District (HSD).

“Ensuring top-notch education and training at both of our campuses starts with creating learning spaces that are state-of-the-art,” said School of Medicine Dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D. “These renovations are key to our mission.”

The updates will provide new high-tech teaching areas for students in rural medicine as the school continues to expand its medical education program with a goal of ultimately increasing the number of physicians practicing in rural Missouri and surrounding areas.

“These HSD renovations are intimately tied to the program at St. Joseph to provide the same pre-clinical training for rural medicine on the Kansas City campus as what students are receiving at Mosaic in St. Joseph,” said School of Medicine Vice Dean Paul Cuddy. “We’re training students in St. Joseph to practice in these rural areas. As part of that training operation, some of what we’re trying to do is improve the educational spaces for our students.”

Currently underway in Kansas City is a fourth-floor renovation and expansion of an existing classroom space into an area that will accommodate up to 30 students. The room will house three 85-inch display monitors, two high definition cameras for video conferencing and white boards for group collaborations. The project also includes construction of a new student study area for HSD-based students with an interest in rural medicine.

Rendering of the new fourth-floor study area. Rendering by Odimo, LLC

After the construction on the fourth floor is complete, another renovation project is scheduled to begin early next year on the school’s second floor. That project will combine the current Graduate Medical Education office suite with an adjoining area to create a large, state-of-the-art educational space.

The new second floor educational spaces in Kansas City, while big enough to accommodate a large number of students, will also be set up to allow for small-group learning, using multiple study-group tables of up to six students, as opposed to typical classroom or auditorium seating. Each workstation will have a 65-inch display monitor for remote learning and lectures. The room will also have an 86-inch multi-touch display monitor and high-definition cameras for video conferencing.

The classroom is being designed to create an intimate setting that mimics the classroom setting planned for the new medical school building that will be constructed soon on the St. Joseph campus. The goal is an active learning environment intentionally designed to merge the two campuses.

The construction taking place in Kansas City and St. Joseph is part of the School of Medicine’s ongoing efforts to meet the medical needs of rural Missouri. Nearly half of Missouri’s rural counties are facing physician shortages according to a Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services report.

The School of Medicine opened its rural medicine program in St. Joseph in January 2021. Now it is working to extend those educational experiences to students on the Kansas City campus.

“We’re trying to set up these classrooms to make the two campuses as seamless as they can possibly be through technology and educational spaces,” said Mike Wacker, associate dean for academic affairs. “Students taking classes in the Health Sciences District will have an opportunity to have exposure to the activities that are really geared to students with a rural medicine mindset. The fourth-floor classroom will be set up so students feel as if they are sitting in the classroom at St. Joseph. We’re being very intentional about making that experience very consistent.”

Renovations on the School of Medicine’s fourth floor are expected to be completed by the end of the year, with classes to be held in the new learning space as early as January 2023. Work on the second-floor project is projected to begin in January, and is expected to be completed in time to be used for classes in the 2023 Fall semester.

Earlier this year, the school completed a renovation of the second-floor medical education media center. The area was transformed to serve as an extension of the school’s Clinical Training Facility, offering additional simulation-based training with the use of high-fidelity simulation manikins and training models.

New Summer Scholars program opens the door of opportunity in health professions to college undergrads

Paul Ganss, EMS Education Program Director, used a mannequin to show STAHR Summer Scholar students how to apply a bag valve mask on a patient.

Two years ago, Karlin Byrd was a Kansas City high school student exploring her options in the health care professions through the UMKC School of Medicine’s Summer Scholars program. Now, getting ready for her second year of college, Byrd is back for more as part of the inaugural class of the school’s new Summer Scholars program for college students.

“My first time in the program, I thought I wanted to be a pediatrician,” said Byrd, who attended Lincoln Prep High School. “I did the clinical rotations in Summer Scholars and realized that wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”

After spending her freshman year at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia, where she is now studying to become a pharmacist, Byrd has recently joined other college students from Kansas City in the new STAHR Summer Scholars program.

Much like the high school version of Summer Scholars, it provides experiences in clinical settings, supplemental instruction in the sciences, research opportunities, and reinforced skill development to support student academic progression and retention. This six-week program goes even further. It provides college students insights into the professions of pharmacy and dentistry as well as medicine and more.

More photos from STAHR Summer Scholars

“Our objective is to increase the diversity of applicants to each of the schools and of those who are going into each of the health care professions,” said Allan Davis, program coordinator. “We want to open up the options to undergrads so they can explore the programs, find what fits for them and what they’re interested in. We’re providing an experience to prepare students to come into these professional programs.”

Last October, the School of Medicine, in collaboration with the UMKC schools of Pharmacy and Dentistry, received a $3.2-million STAHR Partnership grant to help students from economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds enter and succeed in health profession degree programs. Part of that grant is supporting the new college Summer Scholars program.

Ten Kansas City residents attending college at UMKC, Johnson County Community College, Kansas State, Rockhurst, Metropolitan Community College, Haskell Indian Nations University, Donnelly College and Hampton University are participating in the STAHR Summer Scholars. Another group of 12 college students from across the country who are nearing completion of their undergraduate degree with plans to enter dental school are participating in a School of Dentistry program that includes a one-and-a-half-week component of Summer Scholars and its own eight-week online program.

Students spent the first week in a series of personal development workshops focused on things from how to write a resume and prepare for professional program entry exams to learning basic research skills.

As the program continues, the students will get an overview of the medicine and pharmacy professions through shadowing experiences at Truman Medical Center and the medical, pharmacy and dental schools, and hands-on experiences and spend time learning medical terminology.

They are also exposed to the School of Medicine’s graduate programs for physician assistants and anesthesiologist assistants.

“These students get an intense look at a day in the life of a health care provider as well as some clinical experiences,” Davis said.

For Byrd, it’s been an eye-opening experience.

“Hampton has a six-year pharmacy program and I discovered I could still see patients but it would be a different experience than being a physician,” she said. “I came back to ask more questions about the health care professions. Now, I’m learning about all the opportunities. I still want to continue in pharmacy, but going through this program is really opening my eyes to all the other professions like physician assistant and the anesthesiologist assistants.”

Summer Scholars puts area students on track for careers in health care

Students from Kansas City area high schools took part in the 38th year of the UMKC School of Medicine Summer Scholars Program in July.

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.

Didactic classroom sessions are part of the two-week Summer Scholars experience.

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.”

UMKC School of Medicine Paramedic Program receives full five-year accreditation

Paramedic Training
Field training is part of the curriculum for paramedic students in the UMKC School of Medicine Emergency Medical Services program.

The UMKC School of Medicine Paramedic Program recently received a glowing report and full accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) for its curriculum and training of future paramedics.

“Accreditation is verification that we’ve been compared to the standard for paramedic training programs and have met that,” said Paul Ganss, MS, NRP, NCEE, CHSE, the school’s EMS education program director. “When they come to our program, students can be assured they’re going to a quality program. They will have the opportunity to gain national certification. They will have the opportunity to be licensed.”

The UMKC paramedics program is part of the Emergency Medical Services section of the School of Medicine’s Department of Emergency Medicine.

UMKC ambulance adds new experience to EMS training

Following a three-day site visit by a two-person team earlier this year, the program received a clean report with no citations. One examiner even referred to the UMKC program as meeting the gold standard for programs in paramedic training.

A peer review of the report conducted by the Committee on Accreditation of Education Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions and the CAAHEP Board of Directors recognized the program’s “substantial compliance with the nationally established accreditation standards.”

“There are standards that have been prepared, basically the best practices for training programs across the country. This means our program has been favorably compared to the best programs nationally,” Ganss said.

Paramedics are individuals highly trained to provide medical care including basic and advanced life support to people who suffer injuries or illness outside a hospital setting under protocols approved by a physician medical director.

The UMKC program began training Emergency Medical Technician and Paramedic students in 2012 under the approval of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Bureau of EMS. Its curriculum exceeds both the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Missouri Bureau of EMS.

In 2013, UMKC received a Letter of Review from the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions as the program sought initial accreditation. The Letter of Review process allows graduates of the program to participate in the national certification examination for paramedics that is required for licensure in many states.

UMKC currently has 11 students training in its paramedic program. A new class of trainees will join the program in January.

Matthew Gratton, M.D., oversees the UMKC Emergency Medical Services as chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine. Jay Reich, M.D., FACEP, serves as chief of the EMS section and Erica Carney, M.D., serves as EMS education medical director.

Summer Scholars prepares high school students for success

2016 Summer Scholars.jpg
The School of Medicine recently completed the 36th year of its Summer Scholars program.

For one month each summer, minority and disadvantaged students from Kansas City area high schools immerse themselves in activities at the UMKC School of Medicine to improve their chances of success as a college student and jump-start a potential career in health care.

The School of Medicine recognized the 2016 class of 49 Summer Scholars during its annual awards dinner and program at Pierson Auditorium.

Participants in the program that takes place each July 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. Summer Scholars also experience different medical services such as emergency and outpatient medicine, rehabilitation and nursing services as well as surgery.

Darius Jackson, coordinator of diversity programs and recruitment said this year’s program also utilized some of medical school’s student interest groups to lead some of the teaching sessions. For example, the Family Medicine Interest Group, the school’s surgical society and members of the Student National Medical Association led workshops in areas such as casting and suturing.

Summer Scholars is for students entering their junior or senior year of high school. Those students who participate prior to their junior year and return for a second year of the program take part in the Advanced Summer Scholars.

This year’s advanced program included a research component led by Michael Wacker, Ph.D., associate dean for student medical research, and fifth-year medical student Jazmine Smith. Those students studied their DNA, prepared reports and discussed their findings during presentations to their families and classmates at the awards dinner.

This was the 36th year of the program with students from 48 different high schools participating. Many Summer Scholars continue their education in a healthcare field and school officials say that recently, nearly 5 percent of those who complete the Summer Scholars program have been selected for entrance to the UMKC School of Medicine.

Summer Scholars wrap up 31st year of classes

High school students in the UMKC School of Medicine Summer Scholars program participated in an experience in the UMKC cadaver lab.

Minority and disadvantaged students Kansas City area high schools spent the past month immersed in activities at the UMKC School of Medicine in hopes getting a leg up on their future as a health care professional or simply improve their changes of success as a college student.

The 31st class of Summer Scholars wrapped up a four-week session of lectures, classroom work, and clinical rotations Friday afternoon with a scholars forum at the UMKC Student Union.

Each year, high school juniors and seniors selected to participate in the program receive educational and preparatory experience in areas of basic science, various aspects of the medical field, interviewing and personal development skills, and information about applying to medical school. Many graduates of the Summer Scholars program have gone on to attend and earn their medical degree from the UMKC School of Medicine.

The 2011 class of 48 Summer Scholars included 11 high school seniors participating in the program for a second year as Advanced Summer Scholars.

Participants receive daily instruction in academic areas including anatomy and physiology, chemistry, and language arts, as well as classroom experiences that range from medical terminology and understanding health disparities to ACT and standardized test taking. Summer Scholars experiences also include clinical rotations such as emergency, outpatient, rehabilitation and nursing services, surgery, and the cadaver lab.

2011 UMKC School of Medicine
Advanced Summer Scholars
Lauren Brown
Adrian Falcon
Alexis Ford
Corina Guzman
Jessica Idowu
Melissa Ingram
Alex Jacob
Allyssa Kays
Malynsia Mason
Jade Miles
Katie Witherow
Harris Zamir
Summer Scholars
Oladapo Akinmoladun
Cullen Buford
Lela Campbell
Daja Canada
Destinee Clayton
Cynthia Conchas
Valerie Contreras
Jackie Crawford
Dana Draper
Thomas Finn
T’Keaya Gaines
Jon Gardner
Sugey Gonzalez
Devon Hood
Christina Jones
Marissa Jones
Halima Kamara
Jade Latson
Halima Kamara
Jade Latson
Fredrick Leonce
Aramis Mendez
Justin Mitchell
Michelle Mwangi
Maya Neal
Michael Price
Salvador Rios
Amber Smith
Jayla Smith
Timaira Smith
Keanon Swan
Olivia Talavera
Ashlie Thomas
Kalan Tucker
Tasha Tuong
James Wilborn, Jr.
Madison Willenborg