LAKEWOOD RANCH — Nolan Middle School student Arianna Dececco’s mouth dropped open in amazement as she drew a stethoscope to her ears and heard her friend’s heart beating.
She, along with the other seventh- and eighth-grade students at Nolan, had their own personal medical school lessons April 22 as students from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Lakewood Ranch campus offered its Mini-Medical School. The event covered topics such as sports injuries, medical equipment and medicine in the military.
“It’s cool,” Dececco said while rotating between LECOM student presentations. “We can learn something while (the medical students) are doing their work.”
Thirteen-year-old Rachel Gross, an aspiring psychiatrist, agreed.
“I’m really enjoying it,” Gross said of the event. “This stuff is going to be a lot of the stuff I’m going to have to do (to become a psychiatrist). This is a really good experience.”
As part of National Osteopathic Medicine Week April 18-24, medical students at LECOM as well as high school students in LECOM’s Human Body Explored program, took what they’ve learned to East County middle schools as a way to educate youth about the practice of osteopathic medicine and prevention. Students in the Human Body Explored program made poster presentations on topics such as “The Taste of Color” and “Optical Illusions” to students at Braden River Middle School April 19.
“We’re really trying to get middle school students to recognize that there are safety and health issues they can be made aware of and incorporate into their lifestyles,” said Dr. Russell Sexton, a professor at LECOM and the school’s director of community service.
Caroline Davis, a first-year medical student in the Orthopedics Club, spoke to students about common sports injuries, such as ankle sprains and knee pain, and steps they could take to prevent them.
“It’s a really great experience to share what knowledge we have learned and to be out in the community,” Davis said. “(The students) can relate to us a little better than having their physician or maybe a teacher (talk to them). They’ve all been relaying stories of their own injuries and that’s been fun.”
Sexton said he’d like to see the mini-medical school program, which is sponsored by the American Osteopathic Association, expand to more Manatee County schools next year.
For information about LECOM, visit www.lecom.edu.
Contact Pam Eubanks at email@example.com.
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