Doc Documentary of the Pre-med Pre-Med student

Well here we are, fall has gone and winter is here! This is a time when we hunker down in our homeschool, snuggle under a warm blanket and really tackle the books.

I've slowed down on the blogging since I have retired from The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew, but I am still up for accepting offers for reviewing products and services, just not as a full time job anymore.

The homeschooled young man won a book from a podcast that we enjoy listening to (thank you Dr. Ryan Gray, M.D.) and that made me think that I have not updated you all on why I have retired from full time product reviewing this year. So here goes.

During the last school year, the homeschooled young man went in search of volunteering opportunities in the medical community. He came up empty handed over and over again. "Too young." "HIPPA policies." "Must be 18 or older." It was amazing how many applications he filled out and was then called for interviews on, then when they found out how old he was and it was a no go. So round about March of this year he was getting pretty down about it, but thought he would keep looking.

On our trip to Mayo Clinic (you can search my blog for more details on that trip) he met a doctor that spent some time with him explaining about health histories, dictation and actually did some dictation right in front of him. That spurred him on and he started checking out a few medical facilities in our state that he was interested in. He found a program for high school students and emailed the doctor in charge. This emailing went on for several months.

This past summer I spent working out the details of a medical field trip for homeschoolers. We got to tour a cancer center, a women's health center, had a question & answer lunch with three medical students (all of which looked tired and, then we rotated to different medical fields of discussions. I think there was gastro, ED, OB/GYN, oncology, histology, and a few PhD's lol...I won't even try to explain what those guys talked about, it was WAY over my head. One was doing research on a virus of some sort. The students then got to go to the hands on area and learn about PBL, problem based learning, they got to be behind the two way mirror (I think that is what it's called?) to listen and watch in the patient rooms (of course the patients were aware of this going on, they are paid patients called Standardized Patients).

The students also got to put on fake blood, make fake bruises and fun stuff like that. Then they went to the Micro Surgery Skills Lab, this was the homeschooled young man's favorite area. He was having a ball in there stitching away. Many commented on how he was holding the instruments in a near proper manner. LOL...little did they know that he had watched hours of YouTube surgery videos in his short lifetime. Then came the exciting time of getting to meet the physician that the homeschooled young man had been emailing back and forth. This then led to a discuss in the doctors office regarding the high school program.

Applications filled out, letters of recommendation in hand, personal essay written and it was all done. We just waited for contact to see if he was granted an interview. That day came and he was interviewed by a panel of 4. He was accepted into the program and attended his first White Coat Ceremony. The entire process was done to show students just how the medical school application process is done. The students were also warned that if they could not keep up with their high school studies and the program requirements that they had ought not even apply for medical school because they will not make it.
White coats waiting to be given out to the students.
This is why I have been gone, it has been a busy time around here. The weeks that he has class we are gone most of the day as the classes are a long journey away from here. But the experience he is getting is well worth it in the end. I just take some books or my Kindle and relax for the day.

So far he has done the following: learned about biochemistry and had medical terminology classes, 2 medical cases using Problem Based Learning, CPR/AED training, learning the head to toe physical examination and getting to practice this, a tour of an Emergency Department's trauma bay, hospital laboratory, radiology, physical therapy and occupational therapy departments. The first module concluded with bus trip and a tour of a college campus, the highlight of this tour for the homeschooled young man was the anatomy lab. Before the trip he had commented. "I hope I get to hold a human heart and examine it close up." That came true, along with getting to hold, handle and examine human lungs, livers, spleens, brains and other organs. "This is nothing like looking at photos of at human organs in my textbooks." They also toured the Histology lab and made their own slides of animal kidneys and intestines. They had a chance to meet with some first year medical students. Those medical students were so shocked by what the kids had already gotten to do as just high school students. 

The program is AWESOME! And the homeschooled young man is so thankful that he was given a seat. The program lasts for 4 years of high school and comes with a list of requirements including continued evidence of superior academic performance in a rigorous high school college-prep curriculum, attendance rate of 90% or higher, extra curricular, volunteer and/or community service activities. After graduating from the program, alumni will be eligible for a program sponsored scholarship and will be followed during their undergraduate program; periodic reports of their progress and ultimate career paths will be made and catalogued in a data bank for purposes of reporting and quality improvement. (love, no rhyme or reason for a blue font to show up

The homeschooled young man says about the program. “I think it’s fun, exciting, and a great experience for my future as a medical student. It has been fun getting to meet and work with new people and get to talk with actual medical students. I am eager to begin shadowing physicians to get a good feel for the area of medicine I want to pursue. It was an honor to be given a seat in the program and I look forward to the next 4 years I’m in the program.”
Wow what a year we have been blessed with! (here is that blue again!).