HMS MEDscience Comes to Newton — and Summer Applications Open Feb. 1

HMS MEDscience is a nonprofit that educates and inspires high-school students of all backgrounds in STEM fields. The main mission of MEDscience is under-served populations, but it also runs in several suburban and private schools. Started in 2008 at Harvard Medical School, it now reaches over 1,000 students a year in semester-long courses in 15 area high schools as well as in nine one-week summer immersion sessions. MEDscience incorporates hands-on, real-life, field-based experiences with intensive instruction. Its Executive Director is Newton resident Julie Joyal, a nurse with a Master’s in Education who developed MEDscience’s semester-long course and has taught it for several years at Brookline HS.

Applications will be open February 1 – March 31 for students currently in Grades 9-12 in public, private, and suburban schools to attend one of nine one-week summer sessions (June 12 – August 25, except August 1-5). It’s a non-residential program (9AM-4PM) on the Harvard Medical School campus, and tuition is on a sliding scale.

Suzy Drurey, Justin Owumi, and Maya Dennis

Inspired by her own experience in the summer program last year, Newton South HS student Maya Dennis invited HMS MEDscience to present an interactive training session to over 35 students in Aspirations in Medicine, an after-school club that Maya and Senait Efrem started with faculty advisor Suzy Drurey.  The session included diagnosis of simulated problems via Q&A with an emergency-room “patient” as well as practicing endotracheal intubation on medical-simulation mannequins. The meeting concluded with Justin Owumi relating his path in health care and his experience in medical school. Justin was a student of Ms. Drurey at the O’Bryant High School in Boston, where she taught at the time. He attended the summer HMS MEDscience program six years ago and is now a student at Tufts Medical School.

Maya’s review of the summer program:  “Life-changing, absolutely amazing, never a dull moment. Learned something new every day. Diverse student backgrounds, career-wise and culturally. So many passionate experts to teach us.”

The semester-long MEDscience program offers an engaging way to teach human-body biology and is easily integrated into classes in Anatomy, Physiology, AP Biology, Biology, or Health.  There’s a possibility that Newton South may offer this curriculum as a regular class in the future.

And MEDscience is now talking with Newton North HS teacher Jodie Cohen about scheduling a visit for Newton North students to visit MEDscience’s simulation laboratory on the Harvard Medical School campus.  Newton North students who have participated in the summer program include Despite Georgiadis, Jake Fallon, and Matt Davis Morin.