March 10, 2024

Future Docs brings world of medicine to more than 300 young students

New at Future Docs this year was an exhibit where children learned about the practice and science of anesthesiology.

Wayne State University School of Medicine medical students Zoha Qureshi and Nimra Hassan were busy placing the fingers of future physicians in casts while student Kevin Reck directed other potential young doctors through the practice of stabilizing a shattered ankle with plates and screws.

All around them, more than 300 children between the ages of 6 and 12 got a hands-on peek into the world of medicine and medical research during the annual Future Docs, presented by the WSU Medical Alumni Association.

Zoha Qureshi casts a visitor's finger a week before she learns where she will begin her residency.

The March 9 event featured 18 workshops like Brain Blast, Wind Your Way Through DNA, Heart Rocks, Ultrasounds Like Fun, What's in the Water, Saw Bones and Eye Explorer, as well as a photobooth, face painting and lunch.

The children and their parents, many of them WSU School of Medicine alumni, traversed the second-floor halls and labs of Scott Hall and the classrooms of the Mazurek Medical Education Commons, where they were greeted and led through the displays by more than 200 volunteers. While the majority of the volunteers were medical students, they were joined by physicians and technicians from various WSU departments and several hospitals.

This year featured a new workshop, Sleep Docs, which allowed visitors to explore the science and practice of anesthesiology.

First-year medical student Kevin Reck guides Hudson Wright, 13, of Windsor, through stabilizing a shattered ankle at the Saw Bones display, while Paisley Stewart, 7, looks on.

Other exhibits include Brains! Brains! Brains!, during which visitors learned how the brain works through neurocognitive tests, brain puzzles and crafts; Heart Rocks, which allowed children to listen to their hearts and undergo an ultrasound to explore the heart's anatomy; and the Eye Explorer Challenge, in which visitors completed challenges and earned badges as they worked around the room, complete with holding a lamb’s eye and learning about Leader Dogs for the Blind.

In addition to piquing the interest of potential future physicians, Future Docs provides WSU medical students the opportunity to give back to the community, something they do year-round through many health-related endeavors.

Emma Sugg, 10, daughter of Kris Sugg, M.D., Class of 2007, explores the anatomy of her own heart.

Reck, a first-year medical student from Grosse Pointe, assisted young visitors at the Saw Bones exhibit, demonstrating the tools orthopedic surgeons employ – drills, pins, screws, metal braces and plates – to repair broken and shattered bones.

“I have a friend who is fourth-year who volunteered and he said it was great. And the photos looked amazing, so I volunteered,” said Reck, who plans to become an orthopedic surgeon. “I want to help inspire young kids to go into medicine and the specialty, and this is a great way to do that.”

Qureshi, who plans to go into Internal Medicine-Pediatrics, and Hassan, who plans to enter Emergency Medicine, both from Canton, showed children the basics of bones and how they are casted when broken. Both noted that they had wanted to volunteer earlier, but the COVID-19 pandemic put Future Docs on hiatus for two years, and scheduling conflicts delayed their opportunity to step in until this year, their final chance as medical students as they will learn March 15 where they will soon begin their residencies.

“I wanted to volunteer for a really long time,” Qureshi said. “I love working with kids and love mentoring them, so this was my chance.”

In addition to an investigative look into the world of medicine, the children also received a commemorative T-shirt, backpack and other medical-themed goodies, in addition to lunch.

Fourth-year student Nimra Hassa, who plans to go into emergency medicine, puts the finger of Sydney Wanger, 9, of Detroit in a cast.

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