Skip to Content Skip to Footer

WesternU COMP-Northwest welcomes little learners for Mini-Medical School event

by Emily Campbell

April 25, 2024

Read 1 mins

WesternU COMP-Northwest welcomed kindergarten students to campus for the annual Mini-Medical School event on April 19, 2024. (Luke Rauch, WesternU)

Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific-Northwest (COMP-Northwest) welcomed kindergarten students to campus for the annual Mini-Medical School event on April 19, 2024.

Mini-Medical School students learn about anatomy. (Luke Rauch, WesternU)

Mini-Medical School gives COMP-Northwest students the opportunity to develop their abilities as future physicians while encouraging community youth to explore the world of medicine.

During their campus visit, elementary students from six schools rotated through a series of activities that taught about the skeletal system, cardiovascular health and wellness, and germs and handwashing. Additionally, the children explored a mini-operating room to learn about the body’s organs and experience firsthand how surgeons prepare for surgery.

Kindergarten students learn how to check their pulse at Mini-Medical School. (Luke Rauch, WesternU)

The Mini-Medical School program is part of WesternU’s Health Career Ladder (HCL) program, a pathway program that encourages K-12 students in the community to explore health care through a variety of medical and health professions. Mini-Medical School and the HCL, overseen by Assistant Professor of Population Health Science Jeannie Davis, EdD, supports the next generation of scholars and practitioners by providing accessible learning opportunities to youth. Through the HCL, WesternU builds on classroom learning and helps students develop college and career goals through unique activities focused on science, nutrition, anatomy, and more.

Mini-Medical School aims to inspire students to explore health care in the future, while building on what the children are learning today. Kirstin Bates, mother of kindergarten student Elijah, said her son has been discussing anatomy in class, in preparation for their WesternU visit.

“They’ve been learning about the body all week at school,” said Bates. “So, he’s really excited to finally glove up and do surgery.”

COMP-Northwest students Mikayla Bradley (left) and Amanda Felty lead Mini-Medical School students in slowing down their pulse after performing jumping jacks and other exercises. (Luke Rauch, WesternU)

First-year COMP-Northwest students Amanda Felty and Mikayla Bradley volunteered to teach children about anatomy and the human heart.

“It has been a really enjoyable experience. Teaching kids helps us better understand what we’ve been learning because it helps consolidate the information,” Felty said. “We’re going to work with all sorts of populations in our careers and educating them will be a big part of that.”

“Being able to learn how to teach kids and make them excited about learning and excited about anatomy and physiology or how to make healthy choices has been really fun,” added Bradley.

Kindergarten teacher Sarah Haley (in the WesternU sweatshirt) guides Mini-Medical School students on the COMP-Northwest campus. (Luke Rauch, WesternU)

In 2010, COMP-Northwest pioneered the Mini-Medical School program, working closely with local kindergarten teacher Sarah Haley. Shortly before COMP-Northwest opened its doors in Lebanon, Haley wrote to Provost Paula M. Crone, DO ’92, and Founding President Philip Pumerantz, PhD, to ask them to adopt her class as part of the No Excuses University (NEU) college pathway program.

“We started doing classroom visits, where doctors-to-be taught lessons to my students and then we attended our first Mini-Medical School. Our first class of children graduated high school last year! It has been the best partnership,” Haley said. “Western University of Health Sciences has been one of the best additions to my teaching career. To have a partnership with WesternU, and to have my students get to interact with doctors in training, has been a true gift.”

Recommended Stories