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April 19, 2017 - Anatomy Outreach Provides Interactive Experience for High School Students
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Anatomy Outreach MGM.jpgStudents from Mary G. Montgomery High School in Mobile, Ala., visit the University of South Alabama College of Medicine as part of the Anatomy Outreach program.

Several high schools across the region recently participated in the University of South Alabama College of Medicine’s Anatomy Outreach program, learning about the anatomy, physiology and pathology of normal and abnormal organ systems.

This year, Anatomy Outreach hosted five high schools in the Medical Sciences Building located on USA’s main campus. The program is led entirely by second-year medical students at USA.

According to Dr. Masheika James, a second-year student at the USA College of Medicine and chair of Anatomy Outreach, medical students arrange and organize the event dates, teach the stations, share their educational paths and provide insight into medical school through question-and-answer sessions with the high school students.

Visiting students rotate through seven stations — the brain, lungs, heart, gastrointestinal, bones, infectious disease and nutrition. “The stations are designed to expose students not only to human anatomy, but to also have students consider the consequences of smoking and unhealthy lifestyles,” Dr. James said.

“They always say that teaching is the best way to learn,” said Kasey Stoutin, a second-year student at the USA College of Medicine and Anatomy Outreach committee member. “Though we try to keep the organ-system material on an approachable but still intriguing level for high school students, it still puts a fire under you to make sure you know your material.”

Natalie Carlisle, a second-year student at the USA College of Medicine and an Anatomy Outreach volunteer, said Anatomy Outreach provides second-year medical students the opportunity to teach others the information they learned thus far.“The high school students are always engaged and ask questions,” she said.

Several high school students at St. Luke’s Episcopal School in Mobile, Ala., said attending Anatomy Outreach provided them with relevant information that they could apply in the classroom. “We learned so much about the human body and the process it takes to get through medical school,” said Kate, a student at St. Luke's Episcopal School. “The hands-on experience made the lessons all the more memorable.”

“It really is pretty cool when a kid you didn't think was paying attention answers a question correctly,” said Matthew Robson, a second-year student at the USA College of Medicine and Anatomy Outreach committee member. “It is like a switch turns on, and he or she is immediately drawn in, eager to learn more.”

Anatomy Outreach recently hosted the final high school for this school year. “Next year, the goal will be to schedule more local public high schools in order to reach students who have limited anatomy exposure and insight into medical school,” Dr. James said.

Learn more about Anatomy Outreach here.

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