Tag Archives: Students

School of Medicine recognizes December grads, honors recipients

The School of Medicine recognized four December graduates at UMKC Mid-Year Commencement Ceremony on Dec. 14 at Swinney Recreation Center.

Students who participated in the ceremony and received their M.D. degrees were Logan Christine Hemme, Sultan Ibrahim Khan, Jude-Patrick Nnamdi Okafor and Landon James Rohowetz.

They were among 21 students anticipated to graduate in December with either a Doctor of Medicine, a master’s degree or a graduate certificate in clinical research from the School of Medicine.

Five of the December M.D. graduates were also recognized as 2019 Dean of Students Honor Recipients. Faculty and staff nominate students who have maintained high scholastic performance while actively participating in university and community leadership and service activities outside of the classroom.

Those honorees and their nominating faculty or staff member include: Shelby Chesbro, nominated by Jignesh Shah, M.B.B.S./M.P.H., and Betsy Hendrick; Jordann Dhuse, nominated by Stefanie Ellison, M.D.; Zach Randall, nominated by Stefanie Ellison, M.D.; Marcella Riley, nominated by Nurry Pirani, M.D.; and Rohowetz, nominated by Peter Koulen, Ph.D., and Betsy Hendrick.

School of Medicine Students anticipated to graduate in December included:

Doctor of Medicine graduates
Timothy Brotherton, Shelby Chesbro, Jordann Dhuse, Abygail Dulle, Logan Hemme, Haley Kertz, Taylor Lind, Zachary Randall, Marcella Riley, Landon Rohowetz, Louis Sand, Keton Schroeder, Gurpreet Seehra, Brandon Trandai and Mesgana Yimer

Graduate Certificate Clinical Research
Ishaan Jakhar

Master of Science in Bioinformatics

Emily Deutch, Benjamin Matta, M.D., and Jason Wilson

Master of Health Professions Education

Christa Balanoff and Emily Hillman, M.D.

The School of Medicine’s spring graduation ceremony is scheduled for 3 p.m. on May 18, 2019, at the Kauffman Center.

Celebrating 1,000 New Grads During Mid-Year Commencement

Nearly 1,000 students received their degrees during University of Missouri-Kansas City mid-year Commencement exercises on Saturday, Dec. 14.

Festivities began with the College of Arts and Sciences Graduation with Distinction Luncheon where alumna Liz Cook (M.F.A. ’14) offered advice for the 70 students graduating with honors.

“You may not have all the answers right now, but you have the skills to find them,” said Cook, who works at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and as a writer for The Pitch.

Liz Cook with Chancellor Agrawal and fellow alumna Anne Kniggendorf at the Graduation with Distinction Luncheon.
Liz Cook, pictured left, with Chancellor Agrawal and fellow College of Arts and Sciences alumna, Anne Kniggendorf, pictured right.

Among the students graduating with recognition were the Dean of Students 2019 Honor Recipients. Faculty and staff nominate students for their academic excellence, leadership and service. Ten Roos were honored this fall.

  • Shahodat Azimova, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
  • Shelby Chesbro, School of Medicine
  • Jordann Dhuse, School of Medicine
  • Lindsey Gard, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
  • Fiona Isiavwe, Bloch School of Management
  • Leah Israel, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
  • Anna Lillig, School of Nursing and Health Studies
  • Zach Randall, School of Medicine
  • Marcella Riley, School of Medicine
  • Landon Rohowetz, School of Medicine
Student crowd surfing outside Swinney Center after graduation.
Student crowd surfs in celebration outside Swinney Center after graduation.

On Saturday, Swinney Center was packed with students and their families celebrating the milestone of graduation. Chancellor Agrawal congratulated students saying, “You are ready to take on the world.”

During the Henry W. Bloch School of Management ceremony, alumnus Mike Plunkett (B.S. ’91) addressed students. Plunkett is the co-founder and COO of PayIt, an award-winning digital government platform that simplifies doing business with state, local and federal governments. As students move forward in life, he encouraged them to:

  • Dream: Get in the habit of visualizing attainable goals on a daily basis.
  • Work: The absolutely necessary step to making your dreams a reality.
  • Hope: Have the determination to be positive in life, even when things aren’t going well.
  • Give: Enrich your life by giving to others.
Bloch alumnus Mike Plunkett offers advice to the class of 2019.
Alumnus Mike Plunkett offers advice to the class of 2019.

Student speaker Ian Njoroge encouraged his fellow graduates saying, “Believe that you will find opportunities. Look for opportunities and you’ll see that opportunities are looking for you.”

UMKC Health Professions Students and Coterie Theatre Have Important Message for Kansas City Teens

Dramatic collaboration shows the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV
A UMKC School of Medicine student stands in front of a screen.
Students from UMKC health professions schools, working with the Coterie Theatre, each take on the character of a Kansas City teen to discuss the dangers of STDs and HIV. Photos provided by Stefanie Ellison, UMKC School of Medicine

Gus Frank begins to share his story with a group of Kansas City teenagers. For about 20 minutes, he describes how this local high school basketball player discovered that he is HIV-positive and must now live with consequences.

But the story is not really his own. It is, however, the unnerving and true story of a Kansas City teen whose life has been dramatically changed forever.

Frank is actually a fourth-year medical student at the UMKC School of Medicine acting in the production, “The Dramatic STD/HIV Project.” The partnership brings together health professions students from UMKC, the University of Kansas and Coterie Theatre actors to provide Kansas City teens with the facts about sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS.

“Some of the highest STD rates are among our youth and young adults ages 15 to 24. Education, knowledge and prevention are an important step in changing this risk to our youth.” – Stefanie Ellison, M.D., faculty at the UMKC School of Medicine and medical director on the project

In the roughly hour-long program — a 15- to 20-minute scripted presentation followed by an often-intense question-and-answer period — a professional actor from the Coterie pairs with a medical, pharmacy or nursing student to discuss the dangers of the diseases with audiences from eighth grade through high school.

“We’re there to inform the youth of Kansas City,” said Frank, now in his second year with the project. “We’re not doing this to tell them what they should do, but to inform them of the facts. We want them to be able to make their own informed decisions when the time comes.”

A UMKC School of Medicine student stands in front of a screen that says "The truth hurts."

Evolution and impact

Joette Pelster is executive director of the Coterie Theatre and a co-founder of the project. She started the program with the theatre’s artistic director Jeff Church, an adjunct theater instructor at UMKC, and Christine Moranetz, then a faculty member at the University of Kansas Medical Center. That was 26 years ago when the AIDS epidemic was at its height, becoming the one-time leading cause of death among Americans ages of 25 and 44.

Wanting to create an educational program with credibility, Pelster reached out to the local medical community for help. She first enlisted aid from the University of Kansas School of Nursing. The UMKC School of Medicine joined the program in 2004, followed by the UMKC School of Pharmacy in 2008 and the UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies in 2015.

“We wanted to do something that would have an impact,” Pelster said. “A lecture wasn’t going to do it. This was a perfect partnership because their weakness was our strength. We brought the acting, they brought the medical content and credibility. That’s why it’s lasted so long.”

“We’re there to inform the youth of Kansas City. We want them to be able to make their own informed decisions when the time comes.” – Gus Frank, a fourth-year medical student at the UMKC School of Medicine in his second year of acting in the program

UMKC faculty members Stefanie Ellison, M.D., at the School of Medicine and Mark Sawkin, Pharm.D., at the School of Pharmacy, serve as medical directors. They provide the actors with training on such things as current trends in infection rates, symptoms, testing and treatment. They also compile and routinely update a huge binder loaded with information to prepare the actors for what might be thrown at them during the question-and-answer portion of the program. Each actor has a copy of the binder that is updated throughout the year and training updates occur at least twice a year so that troupe members have current facts to share with at- risk students.

“UMKC was very influential in our talking about STDs because the incidence rate was rising so high,” Pelster said. “They are integral to the project and training for the question-and-answer periods that are vital to the project.”

“This is still relevant 25 years later,” Ellison said. “Some of the highest STD rates are among our youth and young adults ages 15 to 24. Kansas City has an increased incidence of gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis. Nationally, one in five new HIV diagnoses is in patients ages 13 to 24, and 20 percent of new diagnoses are among patients from ages 14 to 19. Education, knowledge and prevention are an important step in changing this risk to our youth.”

A UMKC School of Medicine student stands in front of a screen that says "different."

The production

Since 2008, the program has averaged more than 210 presentations a year in junior highs and high schools throughout the Kansas City Metro area. Through last school year, it had been presented 4,495 times, reaching more than 194,000 Kansas City teenagers.

This year’s cast includes 14 UMKC medical students, two UMKC pharmacy students, one UMKC nursing and health studies student, two University of Kansas nursing students and 17 professional Coterie actors, one a graduate of the UMKC theatre program.

“I would share with them that this (prescription) is something you’ll have to take the rest of your life; you’re stuck with it. Just being able to embed that in their memory by telling these kids was really helpful.” – Krista Bricker, a fourth-year UMKC School of Pharmacy student who was among the cast of student actors a year ago

Every presentation pairs one male and one female of different ethnicities, helping to make the team more relatable to its audience. Each actor follows one of six different scripts to present the true story of a Kansas City teen that has contracted an STD or HIV/AIDS.

The productions require little theater other than the actors’ monologues, slides projected on a wall or screen behind them and music to help present each story. They take place in intimate settings of a single classroom of maybe 15-20 students to auditoriums filled with as many as 100 or more students. The actors say the small classroom sessions sometimes produce the most intense interactions because the students in their smaller, tight-knit setting become less inhibited during the Q&A periods.

A UMKC School of Medicine student stands in front of a screen that says "we're gonna get sick."

“It feels like we’re talking student to student,” said Madison Iskierka, also a fourth-year medical student. “It doesn’t feel like you’re sitting in a lecture listening to someone preach about whatever you’re learning. It’s very personal and I like that.”

Frank admits feeling some early awkwardness when talking about such a sensitive subject with a young audience. But that faded after a few presentations.

“It’s something that we need to make not weird,” he said. “We need to destigmatize all the sexual education about HIV and all other STDs. If we could make those things something that is easier to talk about and comes up in conversation more often, it would probably make people more aware and more willing to get tested and get treated if they do have something.”

The actors are trained to hit on a list of key points during the question and answer sessions to highlight abstinence as the only sure way to avoid contracting infections, as well as discussing risky behaviors and sources of transmitting the diseases.

“We wanted to do something that would have an impact. A lecture wasn’t going to do it. This was a perfect partnership…we brought the acting, they brought the medical content and credibility. That’s why it’s lasted so long.” – Joette Pelster, executive director of the Coterie Theatre and co-founder of the project

Krista Bricker, a fourth-year UMKC pharmacy student, was among the cast of student actors a year ago. She said she often leaned on her pharmacy background and honed in on the medications when sharing the hard reality of what is involved for patients living with these diseases.

“I would share with them that this is something you’ll have to take the rest of your life; you’re stuck with it,” she said. “Just being able to embed that in their memory by telling these kids was really helpful.”

Frank reflects on the story of the local teen he portrays. He is determined to get the details as perfect as possible during each presentation because if not, he says, “I’m messing up someone’s personal story.”

And for the young people hearing that story, Frank has one more message: “This could have been anyone. It could have been your classmate. It could have been you.”

School of Medicine a leader in medical education learning communities

When it opened nearly 50 years ago, the UMKC School of Medicine was something of a pioneer in medical education with learning communities made up of docent teams and peer-mentorship groups. Today, learning communities are becoming more commonplace in medical education and the School of Medicine is still leading the charge.

Faculty and students presented the merits of the school’s learning communities during a three-day national conference of the Learning Communities Institute held Oct. 11-13 in Kansas City.

Louise Arnold, Ph.D., former associate dean and director of the Office of Medical Education and Research at the School of Medicine from 1971 through 2012, was one of the founders of the institute in 2004.

“We at UMKC were instrumental in spreading the word about learning communities to medical schools such as the University of Washington and Harvard,” Arnold said. “We were also instrumental in organizing informal meeting of schools with learning communities. We met during the national meeting of American medical schools for several years. That led to the formation of the national group, the Learning Communities Institute.”

That group is now made up of leaders of medical school learning communities from across that country that value and support the active presence of those communities within health professions schools. As many as 50 medical schools in the United States have incorporated learning communities into their programs.

At the organization’s national meeting, School of Medicine docent and chair of the docent council, Emily Haury, M.D., lead a presentation she designed on the role of peer mentors within the school’s docent teams. Brenda Rogers, M.D., associate dean for student affairs, served as moderator during the session that also offered docent and student perspectives. School of Medicine docents Molly Uhlenhake, M.D., and Nurry Pirani, M.D., spoke from the docent point of view, while medical students Saber Khan, sixth-year, and Megan Schoelch, fourth-year, presented the students’ perspective on the school’s learning communities.

“I had more than one person from other schools come up to me after their presentation to say how helpful it was and how they so deeply wished their school had such a super program,” Arnold said.

Jennifer Quaintance, Ph.D., assistant dean for assessment and quality improvement, presented a research project on professional identity formation that is being conducted with support from the Learning Community Institute Research Network. Connor Fender, coordinator for the Council on Evaluation, gave a presentation on the school’s peer assessment program. And Cary Chelladurai, Ed.D., assistant dean of student affairs, presented a poster on the role of the Education Team Coordinator within the docent team.

 

Prarthana Patel to present rare case study after winning clinical case competition

Prarthana Patel

Sixth-year medical student Prarthana Patel turned a rare opportunity to be involved in a unique patient case into an award-winning case study that she will present at a national conference in October.

Patel submitted her winning abstract to the National Med-Peds Residents’ Association 2019 Medical Student Clinical Case Competition after working a case on her rheumatology rotation with Amar Edrees, M.D., docent and associate professor of internal medicine, and Med-Peds resident Oliva Kwan, M.D.

“I really enjoy learning about various autoimmune conditions and their evolving treatment options,” Patel said. “It was an incredible experience to have been able to participate in this case and learn more about clinical presentation and management of a rare rheumatological condition.”

Her abstract focuses on a female patient diagnosed with Macrophage Activation Syndrome (MAS), a potentially fatal complication of a rare system inflammatory disorder known as Adult Onset Still’s Disease (AOSD). The exact pathogenesis of AOSD is still unknown and MAS typically presents during the course of the illness. It can be difficult to identify because of a lack of diagnostic criteria. In her case study, however, the patient was not diagnosed with a rheumatological condition and AOSD until after being diagnosed with MAS.

Patel will present her case at the National Med-Peds Residents’ Association 2019 national conference in New Orleans.

“I am grateful to Dr. Edree and Dr. Kwan for giving me an opportunity to be involved with this case,” Patel said.

AAFP honors UMKC School of Medicine Family Medicine Interest Group

Members of the UMKC School of Medicine Family Medicine Interest Group, Haley Kertz, Kyla Mahone, Morgan Dresvyannikov, Paige Charboneau, Michele Sun, and Aniesa Slack, M.D., faculty sponsor, with the American Academy of Family Physicians 2019 Program of Excellence Award

A productive year of sponsoring and participating in community services and professional development program has earned the UMKC School of Medicine’s Family Medicine Interest Group the 2019 Program of Excellence Award from the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

The honor is given annually in recognition of outstanding performance in student involvement and retention, advocacy of family medicine, community outreach and patient advocacy. It was presented this summer to 19 medical school Family Medicine Interest Groups during the AAFP National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students in Kansas City.

These student-run organizations provide opportunities for students to learn about and experience family medicine outside of their medical school curricula. They also sponsor events, workshops, leadership development opportunities and community and clinical experiences.

The UMKC organization was selected for its wide-ranging series of programs such as performing sports physicals for more than 350 children, early exposure to health care professions through a middle school Medical Explorers Pipeline Project, participation in a diabetes prevention program, programs to bring local medical students and family physicians together to talk about family medicine, and a week-long series of events to promote Primary Care Week.

Throughout the year, members of the interest group also developed working relationships with other interest groups on campus such as the Simulation Interest Group, the Pediatric Interest Group, Wellness Council, and the free, student-run Sojourners Clinic.

Morgan Dresvyannikov, MS 6, and Kyla Mahone, MS 5, served the award-winning 2018-19 year as co-presidents of the School of Medicine group that has nearly 130 active members. Other leadership members included Alice Hwang, M.D., 19, and Emma Connelly, MS 5, co-vice presidents; Michele Sun, MS 6, treasurer; Paige Charboneau, MS 6, secretary; Andrea Pelate, MS 5, community Chair; and Claire Wolber, MS 5, public relations. Aniesa Slack, M.D., assistant professor of community and family medicine, serves a faculty sponsor.

“Making sure that medical students have an appreciation of family medicine is a key step to those students choosing family medicine for their career,” said Clif Knight, MD, senior vice president for education at the AAFP. “This year’s award winners have done outstanding work giving students the opportunity to activate the knowledge they’ve acquired in the classroom, develop leadership skills that will serve them in their future practices and communities, and better understand the vital role that family medicine plays in our health care system.”

This was the second time the School of Medicine organization has received the award. It also earned the recognition in 2011.

Leader in early language development to present 2019 Sirridge Lecture

Dr. Dana Suskind

Dana Suskind, M.D., a 1992 graduate of the School of Medicine and nationally recognized leader in early language development, will present to 2019 William and Marjorie Sirridge Annual Lecture on Sept. 19.

A professor of surgery and pediatrics at the University of Chicago, Susknid is the director of the Pediatric Cochlear Implantation Program and founder and co-director of TMW (Thirty Million Words) Center for Early Learning + Public Health.

As a surgeon performing cochlear implants in children, Suskind realized her patients’ language skills developed at far different rates. Through her research, she discovered that children who thrive hear millions of words during their early years and wrote a book on her work, Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain.

Through her Thirty Million Word Initiative, she developed an evidence-based intervention program that is intended to reduce the language gap between children in lower-income families and wealthier households. The program combines education, technology and behavioral strategies for parents and caregivers to enhance the verbal interactions with their children.

Following medical school at UMKC, Suskind completed her residency at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital and a fellowship at Washington University Children’s Hospital.

She has received many awards for her work including the Weizmann Women for Science Vision and Impact Award, the SENTAC Gray Humanitarian Award, the LENA Research Foundation Making a Difference Award, the 2018 Chairman’s Award from the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and the John D. Arnold, M.D., Mentor Award for Sustained Excellence from the Pritzker School of Medicine.

William T. Sirridge, M.D., and his wife, Marjorie S. Sirridge, M.D., two of the UMKC School of Medicine’s original docents, viewed the humanities as an essential part of a students’ medical training. In 1992, they established the Sirridge Office of Medical Humanities and Bioethics to merge the humanities with the science of medicine. Today, the school recognizes their dedication, compassion and advancement of patient care and medical education in Kansas City with the William and Marjorie Sirridge Lecture.

New School of Medicine class begins its journey with InDOCtrination ceremony

The School of Medicine welcomed a new class of first-year students at the annual InDOCtrination Ceremony on Aug. 16.

A class of 109 first-year students marched into the UMKC Student Union for the UMKC School of Medicine’s annual InDOCtrination ceremony on Friday, Aug. 16, taking the first step in a six-year journey toward earning their medical degrees.

First-year medical students Srujay Pandiri (left) and Rohit Siddabattula relaxed for a photo during a reception following the School of Medicine’s annual InDOCtrination ceremony on Aug. 16.

Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., interim dean of the School of Medicine and a 1978 graduate, shared her experience as a new medical student.

“I was excited to start this new journey and just slightly overwhelmed to think this was my first step toward becoming a physician,” she said.

She told the class that the next six years would be some of the most challenging, but also most memorable and most life-changing of their lives.

“Each and every day, you will make a difference in people’s lives,” Jackson said. “Embrace that.”

InDOCtrination Photo Album

This year’s incoming class is comprised of 76 women and 33 men from 15 states spread from California to Massachusetts.

Second-year medical student Corrine Workman received the 2019 Richard T. Garcia award.

Corrine Workman, a second-year student, received the school’s Richard T. Garcia Memorial Award. It is given annually to a second-year student for outstanding leadership skills, compassion toward fellow students, and outstanding academic performance throughout Year 1.

“I remember meeting people that I now consider my closest friends,” Workman said. “I also learned about taking care of myself and people around me.”

She encouraged members of the new Year 1 class to be patient with themselves when they face challenges and to be a help to others.

Each of the students was then introduced to family and friends with their Year 1 docent units and then listed to a reading of the Oath of Physicians. It is the same oath the class will recite in six year upon graduation.

 

White Coat Ceremony brings new beginning, new responsibilities to Class of 2023

Bridgette Jones, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics, reads the Hippocratic Oath to the Class of 2023 during UMKC School of Medicine White Coat Ceremony on Aug. 10.

For the physicians who wear it, the white coat is a recognized symbol that carries respect. It also signifies a growing set of responsibilities for 117 students at the UMKC School of Medicine.

The class of third-year students and two oral surgery students, was reminded of that as their Years 3-6 docents presented each with his or her white coat during the school’s annual White Coat Ceremony on Aug. 10 at the White Recital Hall on the UMKC Volker Campus.

Jill Moormeier, M.D., chair of internal medicine, presided over the ceremony that included a message to students from Interim Dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D.

The ceremony marks a transition in their training from an emphasis on classwork to more intensive clinical training. It also serves as an introduction to the students’ new docent units on the UMKC Health Sciences District campus on Hospital Hill and at Saint Luke’s Hospital for their next four years of medical school.

Gabriel Calderon, recipient of the 2018 Garcia Award for outstanding leadership and academic performance, represented the class in reading the Class of 2023 Philosophy of Medicine that is a compilation of their thoughts about the profession of medicine.

Jill Moormeier, M.D., chair of internal medicine, and third-year student Daniel Oh presented the 2019 Outstanding Year 1 and 2 Docent Award to Stefanie Ellison, M.D.

The class also recognized Stefanie Ellison, M.D., professor of emergency medicine, as the 2019 Outstanding Year 1 and 2 Docent. Third-year student Daniel Oh, a new member of the Gold 6 docent unit, introduced Ellison as this year’s award recipient.

Ellison served as a docent for first- and second-year students in the ambulatory care program from 2002 through 2015 and returned to that role in 2017. She also serves as associate dean for learning initiatives and  as co-chair of the UMKC health sciences schools’ interprofessional education program.

Sponsored by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, the White Coat Ceremony emphasizes the importance of compassionate care for patients and proficiency in both the art and the science of medicine. It has been a tradition at the UMKC School of Medicine since 2003.

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.”