The Team Cathedral Project Introduces Cathedral Students to Professional Paths in Medicine

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Tufts University School of Medicine and Cathedral High School have partnered together to develop a new volunteer organization program focused on introducing Cathedral students to professional paths related to medicine, science, and public health.

The Team Cathedral Project

The anatomy lab was the best experience ever!

Tufts University School of Medicine and Cathedral High School have partnered together to develop a new volunteer organization program focused on introducing Cathedral students to professional paths related to medicine, science, and public health.

The Team Cathedral Project is a volunteer organization of medical students and medical professionals that conducts a mentorship program and an annual field trip for Cathedral students.

The program is in its’ second year and began with a field trip to Tufts Medical college for Cathedral juniors last year. This past fall, the Team Cathedral Project added a mentoring program for the sophomore class.

The program is giving Cathedral students the insight and exposure to the medical field and its professions by developing relationships with medical students and then fostering further discussion about medical careers.

On Wednesday, February 27, 2013, the junior class was treated to a day of fun and information at the School of Medicine. The day began with a welcome breakfast. The morning activities included an introduction to sports medicine followed by presentations from the medical students about exercise fundamentals and sports injuries. Following this, the Tufts Medical students led the Cathedral juniors through series of exercise tests that were discussed in the student presentations.

The morning session ended with the group from Cathedral splitting up to visit two different presentations. Prior to the field trip each student from Cathedral had to decide on whether to visit the anatomy lab or listen to an alternative presentation about physical therapy.

The group visiting the anatomy lab was treated to interactions with dissected cadavers. For many, it was the best part of the day. The other group learned about the newest technologies and practices in physical therapy, with the examples relating back to the sport injury topics from the day’s earlier presentations.

“The anatomy lab was the best experience ever,” said Cathedral junior Tori Blot. For Tori, visiting the anatomy lab was an “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” because she was able to see and touch the cadavers. The tour also gave Blot examples of cadavers that showed different causes of death.

For Thomas Sathem-Fisette, an avid athlete and sports fan, the physical therapy session was great. “The physical therapy presentation was very interesting,” said Sathem-Fissett.

The afternoon activities began after a great lunch and featured guest panelists with medical careers. Cathedral students were able to listen to perspectives on a variety of careers ranging from a physician assistant, doctor, nurse practitioner, medical technician, physical therapist, and nutritionist, to a medical student. Each one shared life experiences and their particular paths to their current career. They also discussed potential internship opportunities available to high school students in their respective fields.

But the day’s fun was not done yet. The next session was about casting and was conducted by the Department of Orthopedic Cast Technicians. The technicians and medical students practiced and discussed how to cast a broken arm, wrist, or thumb by putting a cast on the visiting Cathedral students. At the end of the session, each cast was cut, but the Cathedral juniors now had a cast to take home with them.

The day culminated with a session of Jeopardy. The questions came from all the day’s activities and gave one last chance for interaction between the medical students and the Cathedral juniors. Each Jeopardy team was led by a medical student who could assist with some of the answers.

In all, it was a great day and many of the Cathedral students felt it was “the best field trip” to date. Thanks to the commitment of Cathedral and Tufts University School of Medicine, the sustainability of the partnership should allow for it to grow and continuously improve. “I would definitely recommend this program,” added Sathem-Fissett.

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Paul V. Rawate
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