Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012
This Week's News
This Week's News
Doctors, medical students bring words of inspiration to local school children
Members of the AMA Medical Student Section and AMA Minority Affairs Section (MAS) teamed up last week during the AMA's Interim Meeting in Hawaii to inspire children at a local elementary school to make healthy lifestyle choices and consider a career in medicine.
This AMA Doctors Back to School™ event gave more than 100 fourth- and fifth-grade students from Kaewai Elementary School an opportunity to learn about the medical profession through interactions with physicians and medical students.
"No matter where you're from, your race or your background, you can grow up to be a doctor," Nestor Ramirez-Lopez, MD, a neonatologist in Chicago, told the enthusiastic assembly of students, most of whom were Native Hawaiian or from other under-represented minorities.
During small classroom presentations, physicians encouraged the students to work hard to achieve their dreams. They explained the education and training needed to become a physician, different specialties students can pursue and various ways physicians can help people lead healthy lives.
Medical students also engaged the children at six health stations, where the children learned about healthy behaviors and basic medical care. The grade-schoolers learned about respiratory health, the importance of a healthy diet and the need for exercise. Activities included making an emergency sprint and sling and using a stethoscope, as demonstrated (photo, top left) by Christopher Jaeger, a second-year medical student at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine.
"This event shows young students that medicine is a practical career that's not out of their grasp," said Erica Mathieu, a second-year medical student at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, who participated in the event. "By doing these little things they've seen doctors do, the students realize it is a career they can do."
While only 9 percent of physicians are African-American, Hispanic, American Indian, Native Hawaiian or Alaskan Native, these racial and ethnic minorities make up nearly 30 percent of the U.S. population. The Doctors Back to School Program aims to help young students of these minority populations understand that medicine is an attainable career.