Twenty middle school students sit in a darkened classroom on the University of Texas campus. They are listening to Dr. Reginald “Reg” Baptiste — a surgeon and Dell Medical School’s director of pre-health professions — talk about the cardiovascular system.
The anticipation after being promised a look at a real cow heart is palpable.
Not only do the students learn about arteries, veins, and the chambers of the heart, but they also hear about real (human) patient cases accompanied by photos and images.
The students are enthralled by what they see and hear. “Did you put him to sleep?” “Was he in pain?” “Did he bleed a lot?” Surprisingly astute questions are also asked, such as asking if a patient’s lung abscess was drained in surgery or with a chest tube.
This presentation was one of the many activities that took place during the 2016 Dell Medical School Health Science Summer Camps. The camps — running one week with 100 students each from Travis County middle and high schools — allow students to learn about various health professions and take part in health science experiments and activities.
The camps are also designed to inspire the next generation of health care professionals and help students get ready to succeed in college or medical school.
As one of the adult observers in the room (and a bit of a science junkie), I said to myself, “I wish I had been able to do this when I was growing up.” And I didn’t even get to see the cow heart.
TMLT is a proud sponsor of the summer camps, and we congratulate all the 2016 graduates. Keep reading to learn more about the camps.
Pictured above: Dr. Reginald “Reg” Baptiste discusses a bovine heart with a student.
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