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Middle school students learn about health professions during LECOM visit.

LECOM opens its doors to share wonders of medicine and pharmacy
For more than 30 students from Fairview Middle School, this was anything but a typical Wednesday. During a visit to the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM), the students used human bone models to learn about the structure and function of the upper and lower extremities and took part in hands-on activities in LECOM’s pharmacy labs. Elizabeth Kraus and Emma Schuette were among the Fairview Middle School students who visited the College to learn about the health professions. Their activities included using corn starch to learn about compounding.
“We’re very grateful to LECOM for allowing the children to have such a rewarding and enriching experience,” said Renee Pagel, a teacher at Fairview Middle School. “It was educational, but they also had fun working in the labs alongside the LECOM students and faculty.”The visit was designed to introduce the students to the basics of osteopathic medicine and pharmacy and help them learn about the rewards of working in the health professions, including the opportunity to help patients live longer, healthier, more robust lives. “By having them take part in age-appropriate activities and explore what it means to be a physician or pharmacist, we hopefully can pique their interest and perhaps start them on a journey to a very rewarding career,” said Rebecca Miller Wise, PharmD, Director of Admissions and Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice for the LECOM School of Pharmacy.

Kathryn E. Zboyovski, LECOM’s Director of Primary and Secondary School Recruitment, coordinated the visit and arranges similar visits for area high school students. “Our goal is to help all students become more familiar with the health professions and reinforce the notion that these careers are attainable through hard work and commitment,” Zboyovski said. “We encourage them to discover the opportunities LECOM has to offer.”

The visit certainly made an impression on one of the students, Collin Haibach. “He was fascinated,” said Nicole Haibach, his mother. “He’s always been interested in engineering, but now he’s interested in medicine, too.”

Dr. Wise was one of the faculty from the School of Pharmacy to speak to the Fairview Middle students about the roles and responsibilities of a pharmacist, including compounding, dispensing, and helping patients improve medication adherence. “As much as the children benefit from an experience like this, it’s also extremely rewarding for us and especially for our students,” Dr. Wise said. “They thoroughly enjoy serving as mentors to the children and as advocates for the profession.”