Local High School Students Participate in Discover Medicine Program

November 28, 2023 by

Discover Medicine session 2023 -students The UVA School of Medicine’s Student National Medical Association (SNMA) Chapter was excited to host the first session of the 2023-2024 Discover Medicine program on Thursday, November 16. They welcomed 32 students from Monticello and Charlottesville High Schools for the longitudinal program committed to providing high school students in Charlottesville from underrepresented backgrounds exposure to the field of medicine through monthly, interactive activities focused on one of the body’s organ systems. This year, the SNMA chapter is also grateful to start a collaboration with the UVA Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program (BIMS) students to expand the participants’ exposure to biomedical sciences.

For this first installment of the program this year, students began their day learning about the basics of the cardiovascular system and received an overview of cancer research. Then they had an opportunity to tour the Loughran Lab, Toldo Lab and McNamara Lab to gain a snapshot into how clinical and bench research is conducted. They continued the day practicing history-taking and basic cardiovascular physical exams with direction from medical student volunteers.

For lunch, the students had a chance to connect with attending physicians, medical students and graduate students to ask questions about their journey into medicine. The students also examined anatomic and histological samples in a discussion led by incredible faculty mentors, Robin LeGallo, MD, and David Moyer, DC. Students ended the day practicing bedside ultrasound techniques with guidance from Kamilla Esfahani, MD, Emmad Kabil, MD, Erlyn Rudico, DO, Hamelmal Kassahun, MD, and Paul Gallo, MD, attending physicians in the Department of Anesthesiology.

SNMA is grateful to the many medical students, graduate students, attendings, researchers and faculty advisors who made the day a success. They extend a special thank you to the Cardiovascular System Student “System” leaders who planned the activities for the day: Johnson Ung, Ariana Sabzevari, James Mbualungu, Kennedy Gray, Rahwa Ghenbot, McKenna Stidham, and Feyi Adegboye and our faculty mentors, Robin Legallo, MD, David Moyer, DC, Lucy Pemberton, PhD, and Marquita Taylor, PhD.

The next iterations of the Discover Medicine program include: Pulmonary System Day, December 7; Musculoskeletal System Day, January 16; Nervous System Day, February 15; Gastrointestinal System Day, March 14; and Renal System Day, April 30. SNMA also plans to host two “shadowing” days in the spring where students will be paired one-on-one with a clinical attending or academic researcher for shadowing opportunities. They are also coordinating a mentorship program between the high school students and UVA SNMA medical students and graduate students.

Please reach out to Discover Medicine Committee Chair, Misky Sharif if you are interested in assisting for any of the upcoming sessions.

Learn more through the Discover Medicine website and follow Discover Medicine’s Instagram: @discover_medicine_uva

Photo Credit: Johnson Ung

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