NEW ORLEANS - Central Louisiana Area Health Education Center (CLAHEC) and LSU Health New Orleans recently presented the “Day with the Doctors” program for high school juniors and seniors living in CLAHEC’s nine-parish region around the Baton Rouge area.  

The program was a one-day interactive experience that provided students who are interested in medicine or a health career with an opportunity to observe a day’s activities on a medical school campus.

Qualifying students totaling 45 traveled via coach bus to the LSU Health New Orleans campus Jan. 18. 

Students were given the opportunity to learn about heart and lung sounds, to measure respiratory rate and blood pressure, to learn basic life support practices working with the trauma simulator, and to learn and practice laparoscopic techniques using training simulators in the Center for Advanced Practice at the school.

Participants were also able to interact with second year medical students and find out about the “life of a medical student.” They learned firsthand about human gross organs and learned to differentiate between healthy and diseased tissue. 

Dr. Robert Eubanks, Admissions Committee for LSU Health New Orleans, walked students through the application process.  Dr. Richard DiCarlo, Assistant Dean of Medical Education, demonstrated the correct method of patient interviewing in a mock patient interview.

Iberville Parish students who participated in the day were Megan Elliott from Catholic - Pointe Coupee, Victoria Hill from Brusly High School, Zhane’ Long from East Iberville High School and Nikolas Tircuit from MSA East.

“The gross anatomy part of the program was very detailed and awesome for someone that is interested in the human body,” Tircuit said. “It was one of my favorite parts of the program.” 

CLAHEC is a non-profit, community-based agency dedicated to improving healthcare in Louisiana and addressing the problem of healthcare professional shortages in our state.

“I honestly thought there was going to be a lot of people just telling you to go in the medicine field, but I actually learned a lot,” Long said. “This was a life time experience for me.” 

A primary goal of CLAHEC is to identify local needs and develop programs that will encourage young people to consider a career in healthcare and to practice in rural and underserved communities where their services are urgently needed. 

“The ‘Day with the Doctors’ program is an excellent tool for students to learn about medical school and develop ideas for their own future careers through observation, hands-on experiences, and interaction with second year medical students,” program director Nan Ewing said.