High-schoolers participate in LECOM programs
Anatomy Academy follows another successful M.A.S.H. experience

As another summer continues in Erie, local high school students are taking full advantage of the opportunity to learn more about the intricate aspects of medicine, medical school and anatomy.

LECOM hosted two weeklong Medical Applications of Science and Health, or M.A.S.H., programs for students from several area high schools. The program gives these students an opportunity to take a closer look at medical education and the practice of medicine.

LECOM medical student Sean Lerner '12 helps direct students through a suturing lesson during the M.A.S.H. program.

Theodore Makoske, MD, Assistant Professor of Anatomy, headed up the program and spent the two weeks working directly with the high school students.

“These students get to experience some of the things that happen behind the scenes in medical school,” Dr. Makoske said. “We have medical students who volunteer and answer questions about why they went into medicine and why they chose a career in medicine. Who better to learn from than students who have already done what it takes to get into medical school?”

Throughout their individual weeks, the M.A.S.H. students participated in lectures covering a wide range of subjects including anatomy, pathology, microbiology and osteopathic manipulative medicine. Six LECOM second-year medical students help facilitate the discussions and their applications in the anatomy lab, OMM lab and through a suture clinic in the microbiology lab.

Sean Lerner ’12 volunteered to participate in the program and believes the students can take advantage of the experience to get a heads up on where they want to go with their careers. “Because these high school students shave the opportunity to spend this week with us, they can learn more about medicine and medical education,” he said. “All the students here have an interest in medicine and possibly becoming physicians.”

In addition to their work at the school, the participants also visited Millcreek Community Hospital and Plaza 18 Medical Center while learning more about techniques for CPR and first aid.

Mary McCormick, a student at Villa Maria Academy in Erie, enjoyed the experience. “This camp helped me realize that I might want to pursue a career in medicine,” she said. “I wanted to get a better understanding of what I want to do when I’m older and what it’s going to take to pursue a career in medicine – and I did.”

Erie-area high-schoolers learn about CPR during one of the M.A.S.H. modules.

During the first full week of July, more Erie-area high-schoolers will come to LECOM to learn more about human anatomy as part of the annual Anatomy Academy. Sophomore or junior students from Cathedral Preparatory School, Erie First Christian Academy, McDowell High School, Mercyhurst Preparatory School and Villa Maria Academy participate in the event, which is intended to provide an educational program in the anatomical sciences.

“We’ve designed the program to expose students to career possibilities in the anatomical sciences,” said Randy Kulesza, PhD, Associate Professor of Anatomy and co-coordinator of the program. “It also allows students to know that graduate school or a PhD is available for someone who’s interested in anatomy.”

The program breaks down into three segments: A three-day segment involving gross anatomy lectures and laboratory, a one-day segment with neuroanatomy lecture and laboratory, and a one-day research and osteopathic medicine segment.

Dr. Kulesza and Jonathan Kalmey, PhD, Associate Professor of Anatomy, coordinate the weeklong event. Silvia M. Ferretti, DO, LECOM Provost, Senior Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs, brought the MASH program to the college about ten years ago. Hershey Bell, MD, MS (Med Ed), Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Evaluation, re-established the course four years ago after a brief hiatus.

July 6, 2009
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