Mini Medical School Gives Local Students a Hands-On Experience

June 15, 2016

Have you ever wished you could have the experience of interacting with some of the amazing technologies that doctors and technicians use every day? Recently, a group of students from Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School’s Health and Bio-Science Academy had the opportunity to get hands-on experience operating advanced medical technology.

The students participated in MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center’s Mini Medical School, where they not only learned about the inner workings of the body from several of our emergency physicians, they also had the chance to operate ultrasound equipment themselves. Michael Antonis, MD, director of the Emergency Department, arranged for the equipment to be brought in for the day-long event. He also taught the students that day, as did Dr. Katy Voss and Dr. Cory Wittrock. Working with small groups of five to seven students, our doctors demonstrated the equipment on volunteers and explained the organs being viewed and their roles in the body. After the demonstration—and with the guidance of a physician “professor”—the kids took the lead in viewing the lungs, kidneys, liver, appendix, and intestines of their fellow students.

Between 80 and 100 students participated in the program on April 21. “It was good just to see kids in the community get to see the technology and expertise that goes into emergency medicine,” says Dr. Antonis. He adds, “It’s very rarely that they get to operate a $60,000 machine.”

Ultrasound is among the safest imaging technologies. It results in no radiation exposure, and there have been no reports of adverse effects among those who perform the scans or the millions of patients who have undergone ultrasound imaging studies. The procedure involves placing water soluble gel and an ultrasound probe on the abdomen. 

Many thanks to Dr. Wittrock, Dr. Voss and Dr. Antonis for teaching the students, and to Sonosite for donating use of the ultrasound machines!

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