One of the very best weeks I had in 2016 was the one I spent at the University of Missouri’s School of Medicine. Up to this point, I had been on the fence trying to decide between pursuing a career in medicine or one in pharmacy. At the time, I was leaning toward pharmacy.
When I initially sent in my application for a spot in the camp, I saw it as a way to rule out medicine. I assumed that I would enjoy it, but expected it to firm up my decision to go with pharmacy. What actually happened was the opposite.
On the first day, I met my lab, or group. Our labs did nearly everything together, and we got to know each other pretty well. My lab (pictured above) was made up of six other students my age and an amazing counselor, who was a second year medical student.
Throughout this week at the School of Medicine, I got to experience many new, interesting things. We listened to lectures on topics ranging from the importance of patient history to reading scan and x-ray results, and even one on plastic surgery!
Each day we spent two hours on PBL (Patient-Based Learning) with our labs. As a team we walked through a patient case. Each day new things were revealed about our patient and we worked together to diagnose her problem and treat her.
We spent our evenings in the library doing research and learning more about our patient case. We combined our information together into short study guides and shared copies with our lab partners. The next day in PBL we began by reviewing what each person had learned.
In addition to all of this, we did other hands-on learning activities. I visited a gross anatomy/cadaver lab for the first time. I was able to hold a human heart, brain, and pair of lungs in my hands! I touched a real, human spinal cord, as well as muscles and tendons in the wrist. This was an amazing experience!
Later, we learned to suture by practicing on pigs’ feet.
One afternoon we visited the Women’s and Children’s Hospital and were given a tour of the hospital. We saw all kinds of things! We learned about the Apgar scores, ventilated a mannequin baby, touched a placenta, and saw the tiny, tiny babies in the NICU.
We visited the simulations lab in the School of Medicine another afternoon. Here I learned to intubate a mannequin, performed laparoscopic surgery (Okay. Maybe I just put beads into bottles …), delivered a baby, and treated a patient (aka lab partner).
Each night after dinner we met for group activities. From scavenger hunts to trivia to swimming parties and outside games, I had a lot of fun.
Overall, my week at Mini Medical School was a memorable one. I experienced many new things and made many new friends. If you are considering a career in medicine, you should definitely think about attending Mini Med! I will be happy to answer any questions you have about the camp!
I am excited to have made my decision to pursue medicine, and I’m looking forward to beginning my journey to becoming Dr. Caroline this fall at Mizzou!
– Caroline 🙂