University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Doc for a Day: Middle-School Girls Get Hands-On Feel for Medical Science at UVM Discovery Day

UVM simulation technician Jim Court guides West Rutland School seventh-graders Kaylee Svitak and Ali Blackmer, eighth-grader Maddison McGuiness, and classmates, in an activity monitoring breath sounds from a high-fidelity simulation manikin in the Task Trainer Room in the Clinical Simulation Laboratory on May 10 for Girls Science Discovery Day.
UVM simulation technician Jim Court, left, guides West Rutland School seventh-graders Kaylee Svitak and Ali Blackmer (center), eighth-grader Maddison McGuiness (far right), and classmates, in an activity monitoring breath sounds from a high-fidelity simulation manikin in the Task Trainer Room in the Clinical Simulation Laboratory on May 10 for Girls Science Discovery Day. (Photo: Erin Post)

The University of Vermont College of Medicine’s lecture hall, labs and classrooms were buzzing with the high energy of seventh- and eighth-grade girls on Saturday, May 10, 2014. More than 100 students from 31 middle schools across Vermont engaged in the day-long Girls Science Discovery Day hosted by medical students from the American Medical Women’s Association’s UVM chapter.

In addition to a keynote presentation from Sharon Mount, M.D., UVM professor of pathology, students rotated through five hands-on workshops, traveling in small groups with their school and parent chaperones. Topics included: “Parts is Parts,” a hands-on session checking out specimens in the Gross Anatomy Lab with UVM anatomists Ellen Black, Ph.D., Diane Jaworski, Ph.D., and Lauren Arms, Ph.D.; “Explore the Blood,” a blood coagulation workshop with Paula Tracy, Ph.D., UVM professor of biochemistry and Foundations course director; a physical exam skills workshop – called “Say ‘Ahhh’” – led by medical students and held in the Medical Education Center’s small-group classrooms; “Lessons from the Dead” session examining human organs and disease pathology in the Given Building’s Pathology Museum with UVM/Fletcher Allen pathologists Rebecca Wilcox, M.D., and Pamela Gibson, M.D.; as well as three stations within the UVM/Fletcher Allen Clinical Simulation Laboratory in the mock-OR/ER; virtual reality room, and task trainer room.

This year’s event was led by Class of 2017 students Katherine Wang and Rebekah Wieland, with assistance from a number of medical students and graduate students.