Marguerite Alberts, staff writer
From Nov. 30 print edition
Three years ago, science teacher Colleen Lynch traveled with Dana Hills High School students to a healthcare facility where they volunteered for the Medical Science Program. Since seeing the program in action, Lynch has been working toward creating a similar program at Beverly.
“That was when I thought that we have amazing health care facilities in our area and we can build a program that really could be academic and career oriented,” Lynch said.
Lynch currently coordinates the Medical Science Academy, a three year program in which students learn about disciplines and qualifications in the medical field.
Lynch works with a team of 11 teachers. Their job is to help students succeed in the required classes needed for the program.
“The idea behind the teachers’ participation is that it’s a school within a school setting,” Lynch said.
In the second semester of their freshman year, students must fill out and submit an application and turn in recommendations from their biology teacher, counselor and another academic teacher.
During their sophomore year, students take an Introduction to Medical Science course, which Lynch teaches.
“This course would prepare kids for what they would see for the testing [in medical school], for the language that’s used there [in the medical field], for the overall experience,” Lynch said. As juniors, students are required to take a lab skilled course called Bio Technology, which covers technologies used in medical science and their benefits on humans.
Additionally, students must volunteer or shadow doctors their junior year. Rising seniors are encouraged to find an internship. Presently, students volunteer at Cedars-Sinai, but Lynch hopes to work with other health care facilities in the future.
The details of the fellowship are still being worked out by the Medical Science Academy committee, a group within the class that includes 11 teachers and eight students.
Sophomore David Adelpour, secretary of the Medical Science Academy, not only participates in the program, but also volunteers at Cedars-Sinai on his own time. “I have learned many useful diagnostic tools used not only by professionals, but also by everyone else,” Adelpour said. The new program allows students to actively participate in the medical field and make an educated decision about their future careers. “I think one of the things [students] are going to receive from this program is exposure to what the possibilities are,” Lynch said. “I think that as a high school student, you may not know what all of your options are if you never are exposed to [them].”
Students interested in the Medical Science Academy can find the application online at http://www.medicalscienceacademy.org.