The inaugural class of 60 TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine students isn’t expected to arrive until summer 2019, but medical school was in full swing June 12-16 with 27 eager scholars spending their days on the TCU and UNT Health Science Center campuses. Students logged time in the anatomy lab, learned emergency medical procedures and participated in dissection activities.
Junior Medical School is a new week-long program that allows rising Fort Worth ISD eighth-grade students to discover medicine, empower personal achievement and develop a network of peers and mentors through hands-on medical activities. The program was made possible by the support of local physician volunteers and the JPMorgan Chase Foundation’s workforce development grant through UNTHSC.
“Our goal was to create an environment that excites students and inspires them to explore the possibilities of higher education through activities that many won’t have the opportunity to experience until they reach college,” said Tara Cunningham, associate dean of admissions and student diversity for the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine.
The students were recommended by their respective principals to apply for the program and collectively attend J.P. Elder Middle School, Young Men’s Leadership Academy and Young Women’s Leadership Academy. The camp simulated a college experience, with nearly all activities taking place on the two university campuses. Participants received acceptance letters to the program in May, as well as their own set of scrubs to keep, presented during closing ceremonies.
The medical school plans to continue to connect with these students through their high school years, exposing them to career opportunities in the science and medical fields and equipping them for their future endeavors.
“We may not have our students yet, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start engaging with the
community and giving back now,” said Cunningham. “Investing in local students is a priority for our school, and we want to give back to the community that continues to support us in so many ways.”