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Annual CampMed program shows area students their potential in studying medicine

The University of Toledo will provide more than three dozen teens from across northwest Ohio a hands-on introduction to studying medicine during its annual CampMed program.

The students, all of whom will be high school freshmen this fall, will be on Health Science Campus Thursday and Friday, June 13 and 14.

Now in its 22nd year, CampMed gives students who excel in science and mathematics a window into what it’s like to pursue a career as a physician or medical researcher.

“We want to inspire these students and help give them an outline of how to prepare for an education in medicine,” said Courtney K. Combs, director of the UToledo and Ohio Area Health Education Center programs. “As much as CampMed is educational — and it really is — we also want it to be a fun time for the kids. It’s summer. It’s camp. It might be the first time they’re surrounded by kids their own age who have the same interests. We try to make it as hands-on as possible.”

Under the guidance of UToledo faculty members and physicians, the students will be taught Heartsaver CPR, learn how to suture, and practice forming a cast. They’ll also receive hands-on tours of the Emergency Department at The University of Toledo Medical Center, the gross anatomy lab, and the Jacobs Interprofessional and Immersive Simulation Center.

Second- and third-year medical students serve as camp counselors.

Most of the students who attend CampMed are underrepresented minorities in medicine, from underserved rural or urban communities, or the first in their family planning to attend college.

“We want to encourage these students to help them realize that a career in medicine is a realistic goal for them. Some of them may have never even been on a college campus before,” Combs said. “We want to provide that exposure to let them know if they work hard and are serious about their schoolwork now, this could be an option and The University of Toledo College of Medicine would welcome them.”

CampMed, which began in 1998, was implemented by and is coordinated through the UToledo Area Health Education Center program, which works to improve the well-being of individuals and communities by developing the health-care workforce.

The competitive scholarship program requires students to submit a letter of recommendation from a science or math teacher or guidance counselor, grade transcripts, and a personal essay to be chosen to participate.