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Teens discover what it's like to be 'Doc for a Day'

Annual program at KU School of Medicine-Wichita inspires Kansas high school students to pursue careers in medicine

Medical students sit in amphitheater at KU School of Medicine-Wichita
During Doc for a Day, medical students at KU School of Medicine-Wichita led nearly 60 Kansas high school students through activities at the medical school.

High school students could use a helping hand when it comes to preparing for medical school. That's just one of the reasons fourth-year medical student Corinna Lemke volunteered for the annual Doc for a Day program at KU School of Medicine-Wichita.

During Doc for a Day on Nov. 5, about 30 medical students led 58 Kansas high school students through a variety of activities, from CPR to suturing, Code Blue simulation and even childbirth simulation in the medical school's Simulation Center.

All of the activities aimed to inspire the high school students to pursue a career in medicine. For most of the teens, it was their first time stepping inside of a medical school.

"As an oldest child and a kid from a small town, I did not always have all the information I needed to be best prepared for what medicine entailed, and what I should be focusing on as a high school and college student," recalled Lemke, who helped organize the Doc for a Day event along with fourth-year medical student Graham Pankratz.

"Being pre-med can be very overwhelming, and our state really needs more doctors," she said. "This is why it is so important to me to be able to be a mentor for the next generation. Doc for a Day allowed Graham and I, and our other medical student volunteers, to do this for our local high schoolers."

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

Medical students talk to a group of high school students in the amphitheaterPankratz agreed the program is key to introducing high school students to medical education, and it also provides specific procedural training on the KU School of Medicine-Wichita campus.

"We spend time talking about what it takes to pursue a career as a physician, including opportunities they may explore even now to determine if medicine is a good fit for them," Pankratz said, describing the interaction with high school students. "They get to rotate through different simulations and training sessions to experience what life as a medical student and future physician may look like.

"Additionally, this is a phenomenal way for medical students to get involved in mentorship in a fun and hands-on way. This is huge for me, as so many of the students we host have questions about becoming a doctor and may not have the resources or connections to answer those questions."

Students from 24 Kansas high schools participated in this year's Doc for a Day program at KU School of Medicine-Wichita, including the following:

  • Andale High School
  • Andover High School
  • Augusta High School
  • Campus High School
  • Circle High School
  • Clearwater High School
  • Derby High School
  • Wichita East High School
  • El Dorado High School
  • Garden Plain High School
  • Goddard High School
  • Halstead High School
  • Hesston High School
  • Hillsboro High School
  • Maize South High School
  • Mulvane High School
  • Newton High School
  • Wichita North High School
  • Wichita Northeast Magnet High School
  • Wichita Northwest High School
  • Wichita South High School
  • Wichita Southeast High School
  • Valley Center High School
  • Wellington High School

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