TouroCOM Celebrates Local MedAchieve Scholars
Program Pairs TouroCOM Students with Local High Schoolers
High school student and MedAchieve Scholar Kadijatou Gory said that while she enjoyed all the aspects of MedAchieve—a TouroCOM program that introduces high school students to the world of medicine and medical school—she said that her favorite part of the program was sitting a few feet away: her mentor, TouroCOM Harlem student Douglas Burns.
“I learnt a lot of things,” said Gory, 16, a junior at the A. Philip Randolph School in Harlem, “But he made it all fun.”
Gory was one of the dozens of MedAchieve scholars that visited TouroCOM Harlem on April 5 for a mock medical career fair that also doubled as a graduation celebration for the MedAchive Scholars as they concluded the program. Students mulled around posing for pictures and eating pizza while learning about medical specialties by tables set up by different student organizations.
MedAchieve was launched in 2012 by TouroCOM students with the goal of encouraging high school students in the Harlem and Middletown areas to consider careers in medicine or sciences. High school students, like their TouroCOM mentors, are also encouraged to consider working in healthcare in an underserved community.
An internal medicine club offered lessons on how to use a stethoscope and a reflex hammer; another group offered basic CPR lessons on a small dummy. An enterprising student surgical organization set up a game of Milton Bradley’s “Operation.” As part of the program, high school students are paired with a mentor as they learn about different facets of college and medical school during weekly lectures.
“She’s one of my close friends,” said Anher Pinky, 17, as she described her mentor TouroCOM student and MedAchieve co-director Srilatha Eadara. The two promised to stay in touch when Pinky goes to Syracuse University next year.
“I never had an older sibling,” said Fauzea Abida, 17, who stood next to her mentor, TouroCOM student Kranthi Gouravaram.
“I never had a younger sibling,” echoed Gouravaram.
At the conclusion of the program, MedAchieve Scholars deliver a presentation on a medical topic they have researched with their mentor. As an added bonus for these high school students, all MedAchieve Scholars that complete their undergraduate degree and fulfill their premed requisites are guaranteed an interview at TouroCOM.
“I loved giving my presentation,’ said 16-year-old Anhel Suarez, whose hair was dyed a leafy green. She delivered a presentation on eating disorders.
By a table organized by the pathology lab, high school student John Merejo looked at a magnified slide of a metastasized lung cancer cell.
“I really didn’t know much about medical school until I joined MedAchieve,” he said.
As the fair ended and both high school students and medical students filed off to study for their respective exams, students Ashama Ramdial reflected on a singular lesson she took from the program.
“Medical students are people just like me,” she said. “I can do it too.”