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The Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Blog MD Program Students Work with Orthopedics-Interested High Schoolers at Fall Symposium

By Michelle Davis, MPH, MS, MD class of ‘26, and Dogerno Norceide, MD class of ‘27

The 7th Annual Minorities in Health Sciences Symposium took place at Esperanza College on October 13, 2023. The symposium aims to immerse local high school students in the health sciences through a day filled with speakers, panelists and hands-on exposure to various health care fields. Faculty and students from health professional schools and organizations throughout Philadelphia participated.

7th Annual Minorities in Health Sciences Symposium

Michelle Davis, MPH, MS, MD class of ‘26, current Orthopedic Surgery Interest Group co-president, delivered a keynote speech and gave a podium presentation. She shared her nontraditional path to medicine and her passion for the field of orthopedics.

The North Philadelphia community is faced with several health care disparities, especially diabetes and metabolic diseases. Inspiring the younger generation with the idea of becoming advocates and leaders in health care helps improve the future health of the community. Youth from backgrounds historically underrepresented in medicine are often deterred from pursuing a career simply due to a lack of exposure to an individual who looks like them in the field.

7th Annual Minorities in Health Sciences Symposium

During her speech, Davis reminded students that despite the obstacles they may face in pursuit of their goals, ultimately, medical study is possible. She also conducted an in-depth lecture on Blount's disease and slipped capital femoral epiphysis, two orthopedic conditions that impact the obese pediatric population.

In addition to this informational session, Martin Herman, MD, chief of surgery, Department of Orthopedic Surgery at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children and interim chair of orthopedic surgery at Drexel, along with Davis and first-year medical student Dogerno Norceide, provided students with hands-on experience in orthopedic surgery concepts. Students were educated on the basics of acute fracture care and practiced applying splints to their peers.

7th Annual Minorities in Health Sciences Symposium

Through his work with the Orthopedic Surgery Interest Group, Dr. Herman continues to drive the importance of exposing young people from communities historically underrepresented in medicine to the field of orthopedics. Overall, this initiative improves the quality of patient care in orthopedics by increasing the number of providers who reflect the community they serve.

Esperanza College was founded by Rev. Luis Cortes Jr., whose vision was to build a college within the heart of North Philadelphia’s Hunting Park neighborhood to provide access to quality education and mobility out of poverty for underserved community members. Today, the university offers a variety of associate’s degree programs and prides itself in its ability to provide 100% financial aid and maintain a 93% retention rate.

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