Health Professions Programs Host Summer Camp for Local High School Students

June 16, 2023

The University of the Incarnate Word's health professions programs recently held the annual Health Professions Summer Camp for local area high school students at the School of Osteopathic Medicine (UIWSOM). The camp was a unique opportunity for students to gain insight into the various health professions programs offered at the University.

To select camp participants, UIW officials contacted high school counselors at eight San Antonio high schools, who then chose students based on their academic performance and interest in health professions. The students who were ultimately selected were invited to the day-long summer experience.

At the camp, students were presented with a case study of a 19-year-old diabetic female. The participants were introduced to various treatment plan approaches by UIW's health professions programs, including medicine, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, athletic training, music therapy, nutrition, pharmacy and optometry. The curriculum was designed to be fun and engaging, with hands-on experiences that allowed students to apply activities they enjoyed to learning. For example, in the athletic training room, students utilized the Wii Fit gaming series to complete a manipulated game that served as an effective rehab therapy exercise. Students in the physical therapy room used a Skyhook contact mat to measure components of a vertical jump, and a Blazepod to measure reactive and dynamic balance and gait.

"The feedback from the students was great," shared Dr. Erlinda Lopez-Rodriguez, UIW's program director for Community Health Education. "One student shared that they liked learning about all the possible health programs at UIW. Other students loved how UIW makes learning 'fun'."

Overall, this year's health professions summer camp was another success, serving as an opportunity for high school students to both learn, and explore potential career paths in the health professions fields, as representatives from each program were on site to share information. The activities provided them with the opportunity to learn from experienced professionals, ask questions, and gain valuable insights into the many different health programs offered at UIW. Through initiatives like the annual Health Professions Summer Camp, UIW is committed to continuing to inspire and educate the next generation of health care professionals.