TOLEDO - Nearly 40 high school freshmen got to learn about stitching, communicating with patients and attending medical school during the 14th annual CampMed program at University of Toledo.
According to a release, CampMed is a competitive program that started in 1998. Students must submit a letter of recommendation, a nomination from a science or math teacher or school counselor, and an essay to be chosen to participate. Students attend at no cost.
Kathy Vasquez, director of the University of Toledo and Ohio Area Health Education Center programs and University of Toledo's associate vice president for government relations, said AHEC is a community-based program that offers programs such as CampMed to encourage students to pursue a health career.
Students who have participated in CampMed have gone on to become pharmacists, nurses and doctors, she said.
"These are all medical students that are here (working with students)," she said.
Local participants of the program, which was June 14-15, were Spencer Elfring and Paige Stiefel, Clyde and Clyde High School; Kayla Garza, Fremont and Old Fort High School; Lena Jackson, Tiffin and Columbian High School; Jennifer Kirchner and Heather Kirchner, Old Fort and Old Fort High School; and Brette Stockmaster, Attica and Seneca East High School.
Heather Kirchner and Jennifer Kirchner, twin sisters who are freshmen at Old Fort High School, participated in CampMed and were introduced to the program by a science teacher.
Heather said she thought it would be a great opportunity because she is interested in entering the medical field.
"We did many things. ... It's a great educational experience," she said.
Heather, who plans to study internal medicine and wants to become a doctor, said participants pretended they were a doctor and had to interview a person who was acting as a patient. One of the patients coughed a lot, and the other had a severe headache.
She said participants had to learn how to communicate with the patient, and she enjoyed the activity because it made her feel like she was a doctor.
"That was actually my favorite (activity)," she said.
Jennifer said she wanted to attend CampMed because she probably is going to become a pharmacist. She said her favorite session was one that involved talking with counselors. Students asked them questions about medical school, she said.
Participants also got to look at cadavers.
"I found that quite interesting, actually," she said.
Jennifer said she was anxious and overwhelmed about viewing the cadavers at first, but she wasn't too scared when she got the room.
CampMed was interesting, she said.
"Overall, I think it's ... exciting (and) fun," she said.