Jump Simulation Aims to Keep Pre-Med Students in Central Illinois
Those considering careers in medicine rarely get a chance to experience what medical school is like until they are officially accepted. Jump Simulation, a part of OSF Innovation and a collaboration with the University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria, is changing that with the continuation of its UICOMP Pre-Med Immersion Course.
The two-week experience exposes undergraduate college students interested in medicine to a variety of roles in the clinical environment. By the time the students finish the program, they will have the ability to take a history from a patient, conduct a physical exam, read an EKG to detect heart problems, interpret medical data and learn how to create a care plan for a patient.
“This is a unique opportunity for students who are already on a path towards medical school to come in and see what medical school is really like,” said John Vozenilek, MD, vice president, chief medical officer, Jump Simulation. “We embody that experience through a massive amount of experiential learning. Students come here and are hands-on and are treated like medical students.”
Some firsthand experiences participants can expect from the pre-med immersion program include shadowing real clinicians in multiple health care settings, learning to suture a wound, using virtual reality to better understand anatomy and responding to simulated patients who are in distress. The course ends with a day’s worth of testing to ensure students walk away with the skills they need to get a head start in medical school.
This is the second year Jump is offering the pre-med immersion program. Seven students participated in the pilot last year, many of whom found the program to be a one-of-a-kind experience and opened their eyes to the education they can receive in central Illinois. Beyond encouraging more students to seek careers in medicine, Dr. Vozenilek, along with leaders from UICOMP, agree it’s important to keep the best and brightest students from leaving the Peoria area.
“We specifically want students from the central Illinois community to understand what is available to them here. This is a world-class institution and we want students from our area to know that this is a world-class experience in medical education.”
Students participating in the pre-med immersion program receive a certificate of completion from UICOMP and documented evaluations from clinical educators that can be used for the medical school application process.
A majority of those who took part in the pilot last year came from Knox College, which provided scholarships to attendees. Jump is hoping to double the number of participants for this year’s two-week course that begins June 11. The simulation center is looking for highly motivated pre-med students.