16:39 PM

Jump Simulation Helping Pre-Med Students Get a Head Start

Seven undergraduate students successfully powered through two full weeks of medical simulation, lecture and clinical shadowing in hopes of getting a leg up in applying for medical school. Jump Simulation, a part of OSF Innovation and a collaboration with University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria, offered an inaugural Pre-Med Immersion Course for those interested in medical school.

Participants of this pilot program were exposed to a variety of roles in the clinical environment and received hands-on training on everything from interacting with patients to stepping inside a heart using virtual reality technologies. Paul Pribaz is the Vice President of Simulation Administration at Jump. He says the program truly gives students a taste of what medical school is like.

“It’s not a field trip,” said Pribaz. “This is not something we’re just showing them and having a fun time. They are actually being assessed in the same way we assess medical students and residents.” 


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Pribaz says students learned how to suture, got the chance to assist in a simulated surgery, responded to simulated patients who were in distress and received their Basic Life Support certification. The two-week course ended with a day’s worth of testing that included reviving a patient, solving medical cases and suturing a variety of wounds.

Greta Berger is a senior biology major at Knox College in Galesburg. She says she received an experience she didn’t think was possible without actually being in medical school.

“I’ve done a lot of shadowing in family practice because that’s what I thought I was really interested in,” said Berger. But being able to go each day to a new department and actually understanding what’s going on, that’s kind of been my favorite thing and applying that knowledge we’ve gained in the skills lab and simulations into an actual real-life experience with patients has been really rewarding.”

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Berger says the Pre-Med Immersion program at Jump has helped solidify her plans to apply for medical school and that includes making an effort to study in Peoria. That’s the exact response OSF HealthCare and UICOMP are hoping to receive from students joining this course.

“Our goal in this program is to really foster the connectivity to residents of Illinois, people who are born and bred or have gone to their undergraduate program in central Illinois to understand that there is an opportunity to stay and work here in a world-class environment,” said Pribaz.

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A majority of the students who participated in the pilot Immersion program came from Knox College. Each of the students received a certificate of completion from UICOMP and documented evaluations from clinical educators that the participants can use for the medical school application process. Jump and UICOMP will make the course an annual offering.