Children explored the brain and ways to protect it while learning that they are needed and welcome in medicine during the Wayne State University School of Medicine’s 33rd annual Reach Out to Youth event.
Presented by the School of Medicine’s Black Medical Association chapter and the Student National Medical Association, Reach Out to Youth seeks to introduce children ages 7 to 11 in underrepresented populations in medicine to careers in science and medicine. The event provides children a look into the world of medicine and an understanding that they can cultivate careers in that world. Students explore medicine and science through hands-on workshops and activities presented by medical students and faculty throughout Scott Hall and the Mazurek Medical Education Commons.
“When I was younger I didn’t have this type of opportunity to see people who look like me in these fields,” said Zeynoire Anderson, a third-year medical student who explained components of the human brain to young visitors. “It’s important that these younger students see people who do look like me, what it looks like to be successful, and know that they can do it too.”
Children explored the human brain through exhibits and workshops like “A Tour of Your Brain,” “Neurotransmission: The Basics,” “How Taste Works,” “Make Your Own Helmet Egg Drop” and others during the Nov. 11 event.
“The medical students who work with you today are just like you. They aren’t that much older than you. In addition to learning about the science today, take the time to ask them about their journeys, and you’ll find that you can take the same path in to medicine,” Dean Wael Sakr, M.D., told the young visitors. “You have a place in medicine and science. We need you to join us in the work to help improve the health of our community. We want you to come here to study medicine and to one day be called ‘Doctor.’”
While the younger visitors explored the science of medicine, their parents attended workshops presented by School of Medicine administrators, students and physicians on preparing their children for careers in medicine and developing healthy lifestyles.
The annual program is important, said Rubi Walker, a second-year medical student volunteer, “because we need greater diversity and representation in medicine. We serve, in Detroit, Black and Brown people, so it’s important to have them represented in medicine.”
That is the very reason WSU School of Medicine graduates Carolyn King, M.D. '93, and Donald Tynes, M.D. '95, created Reach Out to Youth while at WSU 33 years ago.