At the Christiana Care Health Career Academy, 10 high school students interested in medical careers gained insights into what it’s like to be a doctor.
The 12-week program is an innovative partnership between Christiana Care, Main Line Health and the New Castle County Route 9 Library and Innovation Center. Each Saturday, teens from several public high schools worked with medical students from Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University.
“I’m very interested in health care and I enjoyed doing research with my team for our presentation,” said Tamryalyn Jourdain, a ninth-grade student at William Penn.
The teens explored various aspects of emergency medicine, gaining valuable insights that will help them further their health and science education and inspire them on their career paths.
“This is all about pipeline and partnership,” said Lisa Maxwell, M.D., assistant chief learning officer at Christiana Care. “At the end of the day, what we want is a healthy state, and these young people can help us achieve that goal by getting an education in health care and taking care of the people back home in Delaware.”
The students attend Howard High School, William Penn High School, Mount Pleasant High School and St. George’s High School. Three teams made presentations at the semester finale on April 7 at the library’s Black Box Theater, to an audience that included their family members and Matt Meyer, New Castle County executive. Their topics: three types of brain tumors; causes and treatments for pulmonary embolisms; and a case study of a football player who suffered a concussion.
Meyer said he is hopeful the students will continue their education and contribute to a skilled, vibrant workforce that will improve the quality of life for everyone in the county.
“These students — both the medical students and the high school students — gave generously of their time to make this program a great success,” said Dana Beckton, director of Diversity and Inclusion at Christiana Care. “Everyone showed how much they truly care, and we could not be more grateful.”
The program was rewarding to the medical students who mentored the high school students. Gabrielle James, a third-year student and the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, was grateful for the opportunity to give back to students in Delaware, where she was raised.
“To be a good doctor, I need to be a good teacher,” she said. “Working with these students gave me the opportunity to improve my skills as a teacher.”
Each graduate received a certificate, a white doctor’s coat and a copy of the book “Living and Dying in Brick City: Stories from the Front Lines of an Inner City ER” by Lisa Frazier Page and Sampson Davis.