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Kansas teens are ‘Doc for a Day’ at KU School of Medicine-Wichita

Annual program inspires high school students to pursue careers in medicine

A medical student and high school student work together on a high tech manikin in the SImulation Center at KU School of Medicine-Wichita
Ali Oatsdean-Gepner, fourth-year medical student, guides a high school student on CPR methods during the annual Doc for a Day program at KU School of Medicine-Wichita.

Dozens of Kansas high school students recently took their first step inside of a medical school and experienced what being a doctor is like during the annual Doc for a Day program at KU School of Medicine-Wichita.

From checking vital signs to CPR training to even delivering a baby from a high-tech manikin in the Simulation Center, activities during Doc for a Day also aim to inspire high school students to pursue a career in medicine.

The 64 teens in attendance on Nov. 6 separated into small groups and went to different stations throughout the day, learning a variety of skills from current medical students.

“We hope Doc for a Day encourages students to pursue their goals as future physicians and health care workers,” said Sarah Veesart, second-year medical student at KU School of Medicine-Wichita. “This program allows students to explore their interest in the medical field, and they walk away with new skills and tools to help them achieve their goals.”

“It was a really fun experience to learn what doctors do on a daily basis,” said Kaiden Hernandez, a senior from Wellington High School. “Plus, some of the things we learned may come in handy one day, such as the CPR training.”

Doc for a Day “let me experience new things that I thought I wouldn’t do until later in my education,” added Grace Westmoreland, a senior at Wellington High School. “This experience made me change my mind about what I thought I wanted to do in the medical field.”

For Nate Tatpati, a junior at Andover Central High School, his favorite activity during Doc for a Day was suturing. He also liked learning about “code blue” scenarios.

“It was neat to see what seemed like a real-world situation,” Tatpati said. “The robotic manikins were cool. The event gave me a positive view of going into the field of medicine.”

High school principals and guidance counselors recommend students for participation in Doc for a Day, which is sponsored by the Family Medicine Interest Group at KU School of Medicine-Wichita and supported by the school’s Department of Family & Community Medicine.

The annual program is beneficial, too, for the medical students who volunteer to work with the high school students.

“Our volunteer sign-up sheet filled up rapidly after sending it out, and we even had a waitlist of (medical) students who wanted to volunteer,” said Jack Harrigan, second-year medical student at KU School of Medicine-Wichita. “I think this speaks to how enthusiastic current students are about introducing high school students to what we do here as medical students at KU School of Medicine-Wichita.”

Students participating in the 2021 Doc for a Day program were from the following schools:

  • Andover High School
  • Bluestem High School
  • Campus High School
  • Andover Central High SchoolA high school student delivers a baby from a high tech maninkin in a simulated birth
  • Circle High School
  • Clearwater High School
  • Derby High School
  • Eisenhower High School
  • El Dorado High School
  • Garden Plain High School
  • Goddard High School
  • Halstead High School
  • Maize South High School
  • Remington High School
  • South Gray High School
  • Valley Center High School
  • Wellington High School
  • Wichita East High School
  • Wichita Heights High School
  • Wichita North High School
  • Wichita Northeast Magnet High School
  • Wichita South High School
  • Wichita Southeast High School
  • Wichita West High School

Bottom right: Wellington High School senior Grace Westmoreland, left, delivers a baby from a high-tech manikin with assistance from Laura Vanderheiden, fourth-year medical student at KU School of Medicine-Wichita.

Doc for a Day photo album

To see more photos from Doc for a Day, view the online photo album.


KU School of Medicine-Wichita

1010 North Kansas
Wichita, KS 67214-3199
316-293-2635