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High School Students Learn About Medical School First-hand Through LECOM’s M.A.S.H. Program

Eighteen students from Villa Maria and Mercyhurst Prep high schools in Erie, PA took part in a weeklong summer program designed to teach aspiring youths the ins and outs of medical school and the medical profession.  The LECOM M.A.S.H., or Medical Applications of Science and Health program is a unique opportunity for a select group of high school students to spend one week learning about the world of medicine.  Started in 1997, the program has been an excellent educational experience for students while providing insight into the process that will lead to a successful career in health care.  “This allows them to experience a small part of what is involved in becoming a physician.  At the same time it also gives them the chance to interact with our medical students and learn why they came to LECOM and what they intend to do when they graduate,” says Theodore Makoske, M.D., M.A.S.H. Program Director.
Dr. Makoske oversees the students during their suturing exercise.
Many LECOM faculty members are involved with the program, providing lectures and discussions tailored to the aspiring pre-med student. The classes in anatomy, microbiology and suturing have been perennial favorites, and each year new and interesting material are added to be certain that the program keeps things as relevant to the participants’ lives as possible.
During their time here at LECOM, the students also interact with an elite group of carefully chosen and highly motivated Medical Student Mentors.  These individuals contribute significantly to the academic content of the activities, but their most significant role is to discuss the circumstances and experiences that led them to pursue a career in medicine.
LECOM medical student Thomas Russo, class of 2015, demonstrates OMM techniques.
As some of the best informed experts available in how to be successful in the academic world, these Mentors answer questions concerning all aspects of the educational process, including which courses to take in high school and how to apply to a doctoral level program. While the students are immersed in the medical school setting our mentors work with them in small groups and on a one to one basis to provide the most beneficial guidance and education possible and to help them decide if a career in medicine is right for them.
It is the goal of the program to make sure that each participating student will have a solid understanding of what it takes to learn how to become a medical professional and what he or she will need to do as an individual to achieve their goals.  LECOM strives to make the M.A.S.H. program as helpful as possible to these aspiring pre-med students early in their academic careers and to help them stay focused on the goal of a career in medicine.