Doctors of Tomorrow? Drexel Medical Students Inspire High Schoolers Through Diversity Program
May 4, 2018
Students from Vaux BPHS watch a simulated labor and delivery during their visit to the Queen Lane Campus.
Earlier this spring a group of high school students got to experience what medical school would be like. Students at Vaux Big Picture High School (Vaux BPHS) visited Drexel University College of Medicine, in a trip organized by Lidyvez Sawyer, MPH, director of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Matthew Prochnow, a school coach at Vaux BPHS, says that Drexel appealed to the high school because of its Black Doctors Network and its commitment to diversity. "Almost all of our students are African American, and we want to give them access to examples of successful people who look like them," he explains.
The visit included a tour of the Queen Lane Campus, the Gross Anatomy Lab and the Simulation Center, where the students witnessed a labor and delivery. Students were particularly struck by what they nicknamed the "robot baby," says Prochnow.
Deonna Hammonds (left) and Ajanai Stinson-Downing hold the simulated baby.
"The reactions to this were pretty wide. Some students were interested in holding the baby, some were interested in the technology itself, and some wanted to know more about labor and delivery."
Additionally, three current Drexel medical students spoke to the group. "It was this one-on-one connection that made the visit special," says Sawyer. "The students got to hear from our medical school students about their direct experiences."
Esieza Braimah, who is a second-year student, shared her road to medical school and recommended various programs that exist to assist students on their own journeys.
"I wanted to show them that underrepresented minorities in medicine exist and that they can stand where I am one day," she says. "It's easy to think it's impossible when you don't see people from your community or people who share the same experiences as you entering higher education. Although not everyone is given the same opportunities, it is possible to excel and become a doctor or pursue their goals in other areas."
Prochnow says the day was a success. "The students came back from the College of Medicine electrified. It was a wonderful experience." An additional visit from the school has already been scheduled, with more likely to follow.
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