Kansas teens are ‘Doc for a Day’ at KU School of Medicine-Wichita
Annual program inspires high school students to pursue careers in medicine
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 School
- 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.