Doctor for a Day

Elementary Students Learn About Medical Field

SimLifeJaCoby Webster had a patient to save. In the emergency room, deciding treatment on the patient quickly, can affect the outcome of the patient’s health.


“We had to figure out the infrastructure of the body, what happens if the organs quit working, what if his heart stops working, and a lot of other different things,” Webster said. “Our job was to save poor ole Johnny.” (a F. Marie Hall SimLife Center mannequin)


Webster, was one of 56 fifth-graders from Post Elementary that participated in the Doctors for a Day Mini Camp, an event hosted by the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) School of Medicine’s Student National Medical Association (SNMA).


“I got to hear what a heart beat sounds like, and even see and use an ultrasound,” Webster said.  You can see the vein in your neck and hold your breath and see the vein expand when you compress your breath.”


Kafayate Busari, SNMA president and a second-year medical student, said it was inspiring to see the students walk into the rooms as they applied hand sanitizer and then shake hands and introduce themselves to the patient as a doctor.


SimLife“The mission of the camp was to inspire and inform these fifth-graders from Post Elementary to experience a day in the life of a medical student,” Busari said. “We wanted to create an interactive and fun way to expose students to the field of medicine. I still remember an event I did at a museum at a young age and the impact it had on me. We wanted to get students thinking about medicine as early as elementary school. The Doctors for a Day Mini Camp hopefully will spark an interest in becoming a physician, especially for underserved and underrepresented minorities.”


Alejandro Rodriguez-Martinez, a Post Elementary School fifth-grader, said interacting with the medical students was fun.


“We got in groups and had to figure out how to diagnose Johnny,” Rodriguez-Martinez said. “Trouble breathing, maybe his spleen, or what would the complications for surgery be for him, and oh and you need a lot of medications to fight infections.”


For Rachel Maldonado, a Post Elementary School science lab teacher, the Doctor for a Day Mini Camp was more than a field trip.


“This day allowed them to experience first hand and get hands-on teaching,” Maldonado said. “The best part was to see the fifth graders interact with the medical students and to see them hear about what it took to get to this point at medical school. They did it and now it is possible for you too. My hope is that this experience will light a fire under them to think bigger.”


Busari agreed.


“Many students may have never imagined they too can go into this profession. Our hope is that the students will walk away knowing they too can become a doctor.”


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