High school students discover the possibilities as Future DOcs
Mar 19, 2017 1:00 AMStarted in 2011 to introduce students at Detroit’s Benjamin Carson High School of Science and Medicine to careers in osteopathic medicine, the Future DOcs program has grown to include the Macomb and Lansing regions and produced an offshoot for middle school students via MSU’s Gifted and Talented Education program.
The brainchild of Assistant Dean Katherine Ruger, Future DOcs exposes high school students interested in pursuing a career in medicine to osteopathic manipulative medicine, CPR, first aid, anatomy, biochemistry, clinical skills and leadership. “It’s a mini medical school experience” Ruger said.
The program relies on help from MSUCOM students and alumni. Every year, around 30 students volunteer to serve as Future DOcs mentors at all three sites.
MSUCOM graduates frequently return to teach specific topics. Among the returning physicians this year were Annette Aquino from Grosse Pointe, Sylvia Mustonen, who travelled from Ohio to participate, longtime Future DOcs mentor Brandon Trivax and Derrick Williamson, who recently became medical director for the new MSUCOM Popoff Clinic in Detroit.
The four participated in Detroit Future DOcs this past winter, speaking to the students about doctor-patient relationship skills and the philosophy of osteopathic medicine. The students also broke out into smaller groups to work through case studies, and even got to put on a white coat to participate in mock doctor-patient scenarios held in clinical exam rooms.
This year for the first time Macomb Future DOcs partnered with the MSU College of Nursing to provide exposure to the field of nursing. Students visited the simulation lab, attended presentations and participated in hands-on activities.
The number of applicants to Future DOcs consistently exceeds the program’s capacity. To date, over 300 students have gone through Future DOcs, with more than a dozen getting accepted into MSUCOM’s Osteopathic Medical Scholars Program for MSU undergraduates.
The ultimate goal is to provide a path for students from high school to MSUCOM. “We are working to measure community impact and outcomes, and eventually hope to see more matriculates into the Osteopathic Medical Scholars Program and ultimately, MSUCOM,” said Ruger.
The Macomb program will wrap up in April, just as the Lansing edition gets underway.