Mini Med-School is a hit with WAHS students

Even Pegasus decided they were worth a visit…


Credit: Sophie Creager-Roberts

WAHS students explore UVA’s Pegasus

Sophie Creager-Roberts, Staff Writer

The Mini Med School is a new program offered to students at Western that has sparked enormous interest in those hoping to pursue a career in medicine. Western’s program was modeled after a Mini Med School program at UVA that few WAHS students were able to get into.

Parents and teachers have been major contributors to the success of this program by organizing the events and volunteering to speak to participants about their area of expertise. The course is comprised of three evenings at Western and one field trip to UVA. Activities include teaching students about hospice care, how ultrasounds and CT scans work, and the proper way to intubate.

Many of the students who engage in Mini Med School are juniors and seniors who have already taken sports medicine or medical terminology with Mr. Lawson and want to continue their career in medicine by developing more hands-on skills.

“15 percent of students at Western are interested in medicine,” Ms. Bertrand, Western’s career specialist, said.
Based on this statistic, Ms. Bertrand and many others felt that this program would be a good outlet for students to focus their passion for medicine and to take away new knowledge about a multitude of specialties. In an interview, one guest speaker, Kyle Enfield, explained his experience with the course.

“Mini Med School was a lot of fun from my side of things. From the first design meeting to the last session, I have been very impressed by the participation, excitement, and engagement.  I wish there had been programs like this when I was in high school,” Dr. Enfield said regarding teaching participants about how various imaging works.
Although some students are hoping to obtain a wide range of knowledge to help them decide what profession they want to pursue within the medical field, others have already found their niche. “I am wanting to go into psychology, therefore the brain portion of Mini Med was very interesting to me. I was influenced to pursue it thanks to a book I read, actually, titled the Anatomy of Crime. Reading that book really showed me the intense interest I had in the human mind,” senior Catherine Carmichael said.

On December 2nd, the Mini Med School traveled to UVA for a final field trip where they visited the Simulation Center, the center UVA uses to educate med students and teach them in a hands-on environment with the use of mannequins and other simulation technologies. This trip also included learning and experimenting with UVA’s ultrasounds and MRIs.

Bringing the program to a close until next fall, UVA’s emergent transport helicopter, Pegasus, paid Western a visit on December 2nd. Landing on the driving course behind WAHS, students were able to explore the iconic chopper’s interior and learn from it’s pilots and onboard staff.