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DCHS Hosts Inaugural Health Care Exploration Camp

The Saint Louis University (SLU) Doisy College of Health Sciences (DCHS) hosted its first Summer Scholars Health Care Exploration camp to introduce high school students, specifically those from diverse backgrounds, to allied health professions in June 2021. In addition to introducing high school students to these health care disciplines, the camp is also designed to display the interdisciplinary nature of health care in general.

SLU athletic training student tapes an ankle

Attendees of the summer camp learn about health care careers and programs within DCHS through clinical presentations by the college’s experienced faculty. Students learn how different health care professionals collaborate with each other to design a plan of care for a patient’s immediate and long-term needs. Students work on several activities prepared by DCHS faculty throughout the week which are directly related to the clinical case and are encouraged to ask questions about each step in the health care process.

DCHS Associate Dean of Research, and one of the camp’s organizers, Jesús García-Martínez, M.D., M.Sc., Ph.D, explained that DCHS wants this camp to be a starting point for these students and their health care careers, and that DCHS will be there to help them as they progress.

“We want to educate high school students about the allied health professions and the programs we offer here at DCHS,” Dr. García-Martínez said. “The camp is open to rising sophomores, juniors and seniors and we will continue to remain in contact with these students after the camp is over to see how their studies are progressing. Our faculty will also be available to graduates of the program to serve as advisors.”

One of the DCHS faculty members involved with the summer camp was Athletic Training Program Director and Interim Chair of the Nutrition and Dietetics Department Anthony Breitbach, Ph.D., ATC, FASAHP, who enjoyed the opportunity give interested students a glimpse of what their futures in health care could look like.

“The camp was a great opportunity for students from diverse backgrounds to learn about many different health professions and the importance of interprofessional collaboration in a relevant context,” Dr. Breitbach said. “Hopefully, the students are inspired to pursue a career in health care and better understand what it will take to be successful in college and in their work after graduation.”

At the end of the camp, the students were asked their thoughts on the program and how it impacted them. The camp was met with positive reviews from the students who attended. One student in particular outlined many of the positive aspects of the camp.

“I was able to learn from various health professionals, expand my knowledge of health care and form connections that will hopefully last a lifetime,” the student said. “I am very grateful for this opportunity and pleased that I was able to attend.”

Saint Louis University is a Catholic, Jesuit institution that values academic excellence, life-changing research, compassionate health care, and a strong commitment to faith and service. Founded in 1818, the University fosters the intellectual and character development of nearly 13,000 students on two campuses in St. Louis and Madrid, Spain. Building on a legacy of more than 200 years, Saint Louis University continues to move forward with an unwavering commitment to a higher purpose, a greater good.