So you’re thinking about medical school?

Explore these pre-college programs to see if a health profession is right for you.

Youth have the opportunity to explore the medical field at a 4-H Exploration Days session. Photo credit: ANR Communications | MSU Extension
Youth have the opportunity to explore the medical field at a 4-H Exploration Days session. Photo credit: ANR Communications | MSU Extension

Before making the large time and financial commitment necessary to enter the medical profession, there are numerous pre-college programs in Michigan youth can explore to see if that profession is right for you. High school students considering health careers can get a closer look at these professions by participating in one of the following programs.

OsteoCHAMPS,  a two-week residential summer program provided by Michigan State University (MSU) Osteopathic Medicine, began in 2000. High school students enrolled in the program have a jam-packed schedule complete with challenging academics, exposure to medical fields, team-building activities and leadership skill development.  The program includes a wide range of pre-medical classes such as anatomy, chemistry, physiology, forensics, preventative medicine, clinical skills, physics and math taught in university classrooms and labs. Students explore medical professions by interacting with a health professions panel, a student panel and having dinner with doctors. The program also fosters student preparation into higher education by including ACT prep classes, admissions presentations and sessions on test taking and study skills. The summer camp culminates with students presenting a group research project they work on throughout the program over dinner to their family, faculty and peers. However, the program does not end with camp. OsteoCHAMPS alumni receive year-round support that includes guidance and tools to enrich their academic success and career development.

Michigan State University Extension 4-H Exploration Days is also a pre-college program, held annually the third week in June on the campus of MSU. During this three-day program, students can choose from 200 different sessions including the new class, Future D.O.C.’s. Here students are able to investigate career opportunities in this interactive, hands-on program. Students explore specimens in an anatomy laboratory, learn suturing techniques, clinical skills and interact with current doctors and medical students.

Wayne State University C2 Pipeline Program incorporates science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) with a focus on health careers. This 38-week program includes both an afterschool and summer-enrichment component. This summer, 60 high school students participated in a unique pre-college residential program with five specialty tracks: nursing, social work, medicine, engineering and pharmacy. During the day, students took classes in their specialty track as well as classes to ease the transition to college life. College preparation classes included:  studying for sciences, managing academic anxiety, conflict management, stress management, effective listening, library research, admissions, and financial aid. Leisure time was filled with fun activities including a dance, open mic night, volleyball tournament, walking tours of Detroit and a photo scavenger hunt. Another unique feature of the program was requiring students to work on inter-professional education teams to develop and present a plan on how diabetes can be addressed in their community, school, neighborhood or family. Twelve teams of student representatives from each of the specialty areas met regularly with a local community sponsor to research, develop and ultimately present their plan to a panel of judges to win college scholarships. Students showcased their project plan to community and family members during the program gala.

For additional trainings, articles and resources to help young people explore careers, check out the MSU Extension and Michigan 4-H Youth Development websites.  

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