The University of Southern California recently hosted a medical camp targeted towards high school students with a keen interest in medicine. This one week camp placed an emphasis on the cardiovascular system and its crucial role in the body. Filled with lectures from doctors of numerous specialties and even a basic surgical suturing class, the week-long camp nurtured the blooming passion of the students.
On the first day of camp, students were greeted by rising 2nd year medical school students who would be their counselors and mentors. As the week progressed, they gave advice and answered any questions that addressed the students’ fears of the unknown future that lay ahead of them. Furthermore, throughout the day, doctors with different specialties, ranging from cardiothoracic surgeons to pediatric cardiologists to occupational therapists, made time out of their busy days to come by and talk about their experiences and give the students an insight into their profession. Through this, students were introduced to new professions that they may now potentially pursue.
Their camp cardiac experience was made more memorable with the various hands-on activities throughout the week. Pig heart dissections and suturing workshops with the supervision of doctors and surgical residents allowed students to catch a glimpse of the exciting things waiting for them in the world of medicine.
Not only did students explore their passion, but they were also equipped with life-saving skills that could be applied in the real world. To start off, a CPR class provided students with step-by-step instructions prior to and while performing CPR on adults, kids, and infants. Furthermore, they were taught how to handle the numerous situations that may occur when using an AED, or an automated external defibrillator. Having obtained these new skills, these students could act in an emergency instead of remaining as bystanders. Last but not least, students were taught how to take a person’s blood pressure. Knowing this skill may help detect a health-related problem of a family or loved one
Camp cardiac is an amazing opportunity for students to explore their interests at a young age. “Medicine was something I’ve always been interested in. Through this camp, I feel that I’ve been able to experience things other high school students would never be able to and was able to confirm my passions in medicine through it,” says Bonnie Kim as she reflects on her camp cardiac experience.