The student-led Diversity Committee at Indiana University School of Medicine-Fort Wayne hosted its second annual MedExpo event on Saturday, April 14. Launched in 2017, MedExpo connects high school students from rural and inner-city schools in the Fort Wayne area with educational activities that promote careers in medical professions.
“Long-term, our hope is that this program plays a part in increasing the number of future health care professionals from diverse backgrounds,” says Jaymin Patel, second-year medical student at IU School of Medicine-Fort Wayne and Diversity Committee secretary. “Increased diversity in medicine will not only broaden perspectives in the medical field but also will improve the quality of care that is administered.”
At MedExpo, medical students, faculty and volunteers welcomed 30 high school student attendees to the Parkview Mirro Center for Research and Innovation. Attendees participated in a number of discussions and hands-on learning activities.
During a panel discussion, current students at IU School of Medicine-Fort Wayne shared insights about their undergraduate and medical school experiences with attendees. The medical students prepared presentations and clinical vignettes to educate the visiting high school students. These presentations and vignettes also provided the medical students an additional way to test and develop their skills in patient care and clinical treatments.
Attendees visited simulation stations to learn about procedures such as laparoscopic surgery, heart catheterization and endoscopy. They also learned about the importance of patient history and explored muscles and organs on the state-of-the-art Anatomage Table at Parkview Mirro Center for Research and Innovation.
Improving health care with diversity
“Diversity is inarguably one of the most crucial components of health care,” says Patel. “Our nation is made up of people with varied national origin, age, religion, language, gender, culture, disabilities, socioeconomic status and many more defining characteristics that are integral to treating them. These traits are important to understanding the patient’s needs and can influence the decision-making process of health care professionals.”
MedExpo is one of numerous ways IU School of Medicine’s students and faculty are committed to community outreach and diversity.