December 16, 2010

John Hay Students Hit Campus for Medical Education

John Hay tutoring program
In addition to their work on the NISS, CWRU medical students
tutor John Hay students at their school throughout the year.

Fifteen students from the Cleveland School of Science and Medicine (CSSM) at John Hay Campus are on campus this week to participate in the weeklong immersion program that’s part of the Neuroscience Inquiry Seminar Series (NISS), developed by Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

While here, the John Hay students sat in on medical school seminars, listened to special small-group faculty lectures, participated in the medical school case-based curriculum and had lunches with students and faculty, explained Joshua Bear, a fourth-year medical student who spearheaded the NISS under the guidance of Robert Haynie, associate dean for student affairs and associate clinical professor of medicine. The NISS itself has multiple parts: “Following schoolwide activities, approximately 30 students continued to come to optional afterschool events, and we ultimately selected 15 students to participate in the immersion week at the medical school,” Bear explained. The schoolwide activities included eye- and brain-dissection labs, case discussions facilitated by medical students, preparatory lectures by med students, faculty lectures and physical exam skills.  

The NISS is part of a larger umbrella program, The Robbins Bridge Program, which, with the financial assistance of the Joan C. Edwards Charitable Foundation, provides John Hay students with two Inquiry Seminar Series per year, afterschool ACT/SAT prep lectures, a writing workshop and a specialized research training program, Bear said. Additionally, the Joan C. Edwards Charitable Foundation will provide a scholarship to one student per year to earn bachelor and medical degrees at Case Western Reserve beginning in 2011.

The Inquiry Seminar Series launched last spring with the Cardiovascular Inquiry Seminar Series (CISS). “At the end of the program, we asked the high school students what other areas of science and medicine they would be interesting in studying, and the students overwhelmingly identified neurology and neurosurgery,” Bear said. “Thus, while the initial program was envisioned by my predecessor, Jason Balkman, and the Joan C. Edwards Charitable Foundation, the fall series comes directly from the students.” Additionally, students gave their feedback on likes and dislikes in order to make improvements. The most visible change to the second program, Bear said, is the addition of medical student-led preparatory lectures.

“The medical students have been central to the entire process,” Bear said, “contributing by writing the clinical cases, giving introductory lectures in neuroscience, facilitating the case discussions, assisting with the immersion, and even writing the assessment tools we use at the end.”

But medical students aren’t the only ones involved. As planning begins for the CISS 2011, Bear is looking for pre-med undergraduates, medical students and medical-related faculty, staff and alumni. Additionally, students in other disciplines could assist with other programs under Robbins Bridge, particularly helping with essay writing and ACT/SAT preparation. Volunteering for the program not only looks great on a résumé but also is personally rewarding, Bear said.

“The energy and excitement of the students at the CSSM is the highlight of everything under the Bridge Program and the reason why we are there,” he said.

For more information, contact Bear or Brian McDonald, executive director of the Joan C. Edwards Charitable Foundation.

Posted by: Emily Mayock, December 16, 2010 08:15 AM | News Topics: School of Medicine

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