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Local high school students attend VCOM mini medical school through ULM TRIO program

Published June 12, 2024

Mangham VCOM

CAPTION: Students from Mangham High School pose with faculty and students from VCOM, along with representatives from the ULM TRIO Program.

MONROE, LA – On Friday, March 22, Mangham High School 10th-grade students attended a mini medical school at VCOM, located near the ULM campus. The visit was facilitated by the ULM TRIO Educational Talent Search program, which encourages local high school students to pursue education.   

The mini medical school lasts for about 90 minutes. The students were taken on a tour of the VCOM-Louisiana campus that included visiting the large auditorium where much of VCOM students’ initial training and teaching is conducted.  There is also a Center for Simulation and Technology that has SimBaby™, SimJunior ®, SimMan®, and SimMom® manikins that simulate various medical complications and mock treatment rooms.  The goal of the school is to promote health awareness and prevention to middle and high school students, as well as introduce and encourage students in the NELA region to pursue careers in health science.   

After the tour was completed, the students were brought into a large room where five stations were set up.  The stations were Substance Abuse, Basic Life Support, Primary Care, Infectious Disease, and Mental Health and were manned by current VCOM second-year osteopathic medical students (OMS-II).  The VCOM students took about 15 minutes at each station and fielded questions relating to each respective topic.   

The Mangham students later noted that they really appreciated this because it gave them a much broader view of things that are addressed on any given day in a hospital setting.  They got to practice CPR and learn about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse, vaping, general health, diabetes, STDs, treatment for anxiety, suicide prevention, and many more topics.   

"VCOM is committed to its mission of training physicians to meet the needs of rural and medically underserved populations. We recognize that sometimes students from these areas are not exposed to the idea of a career in medicine. Through the mini medical school curriculum, we hope to create a spark that will light a candle that gives them some sight into a medical profession", said Dr. Jonah Flowers, VCOM Associate Chair of Rural Medicine and Underserved Primary Care. 

“One Mangham student commented that it was amazing how realistic the training dummy was,” noted ULM TRIO Outreach Specialist Wendy Hagan.  “I never considered them being able to have dummies with pulses throughout. Also, the interactive skeletons with special stethoscopes to learn different sounds inside the body were amazing.” 

Anthony Bartley, ULM TRIO College Transition Coordinator, stated “We’re very grateful to VCOM for setting up this Mini Med School.  It’s so important for these high school students to have this opportunity.  Having a school like VCOM in this area is phenomenal.  Many students find that not only are these types of careers accessible, they are attainable,” added Bartley. 

VCOM offers the mini medical school multiple times a year, from October to March.  For more information, contact Dr. Jonah Flowers at jflowers@ulm.vcom.edu.