Area high school students learn about health careers at UAB

March 11, 2020; By Summer Shafer in the UAB SOM News

Students from three Birmingham City Schools visited UAB School of Medicine and UAB School of Health Professions on Wednesday, February 19 for an Academy of Health Science event. High schoolers who are involved in health science programs at their schools were able to learn more about applying to college, and exploring health care programs at UAB.

The event was set up by Autumn Beavers, MS2, and her mentor, Carmel McNicholas-Bevensee, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Cell, Developmental, and Integrative Biology, for a community service project as part of the Schweitzer Fellowship.

“These are students who are interested in healthcare, in some aspect. Most of their experiences have been with medical doctors and nurses. So, we really wanted to use this as an opportunity to expose them to different careers in health care,” Beavers said.

During the health academy visit, students heard from UAB faculty about a wide variety of departments and health professions, including Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences, Nuclear Medicine, Genetic Counseling, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Clinical Lab Sciences. Students also had the opportunity to gain hands-on experience during a suturing workshop. Randrea Wright, a student at Carver High School, said that after practicing suturing, she was considering a career in surgery.

Through exposure to real medical school classrooms and materials, as well as active participation and engagement in planned activities, these students gained valuable insight into the medical field that most high school students do not get to see.

“My experience was really good,” said James Vandiver, a student at Carver High School. “It opened my eyes to a lot of more opportunities and different career paths.”

According to Cynthia Kelley, a registered nurse at UAB and health science teacher at Carver High School, students are able to join the health science programs in 10th grade and from year to year are able to job shadow and secure internships with UAB.

“To come to UAB is awesome,” Kelley said. “This has been a fantastic opportunity for our students to learn and gain new experiences.”

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