UIWSOM Hosts 160 Students at 2024 Health Professions Day Camp

June 12, 2024

Student jumping during activityOn Monday, June 10, UIW’s School of Osteopathic Medicine (UIWSOM) hosted its annual Health Professions Day Camp welcoming 160 students from St. Anthony Catholic High School, Northeast Independent School District (NEISD), Edgewood Independent School District (EISD), San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD), Northside Independent School District (NISD), Southwest Independent School District (SWISD), Somerset Independent School District, East Central Independent School District and Judson Independent School District.

UIW’s Health Professions Day Camp allows students to experience being part of an interdisciplinary healthcare team as they engage in analyzing medical case studies, clinical simulations, healthcare career exploration and health professions program admission advising. The purpose of the annual event is multifaceted, encompassing activities such as raising awareness of health professions careers, encouraging skill development, networking, engaging diverse communities and recruiting young, aspiring health professionals.

A morning storm couldn’t stop the eager students from gathering on campus to learn. Dr. Dimitri Tamalis, interim provost, welcomed the students to UIWSOM with a few opening words of encouragement.

Student holding UIW shirt“This is an exciting opportunity for you to engage with professionals in the various healthcare fields,” Tamalis shared with the students. “I encourage you to approach each experience with an open mind and a willingness to learn. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to ask questions, seek guidance from several UIW members and discover new interests.”

Students were split into 11 groups and rotated through several rooms where they spent 15-minute intervals engaging in various activities that introduced the various healthcare professions, including community health education, nursing, pharmacy, medicine, optometry, physical therapy, occupational therapy, athletic training and self-care.

Students enthusiastically learned from UIW affiliated healthcare professionals and educators throughout the day and saw the many ways healthcare practitioners contribute towards bettering local communities and society as a whole. During a concluding discussion amongst all attendees, students shared the news things they learned, expressed interest in different healthcare fields and recalled their favorite activities.

In addition to students benefiting from the day, Dr. Erlinda Lopez-Rodriguez, Community Health Education program director, shared that UIW faculty also benefitted by having the opportunity to share the University’s work and Mission with local students and future healthcare heroes.

Students listening during lecture“UIW health professions schools’ faculty and staff collaborated to help share best practices, resources and fostering an interdisciplinary approach to health education for bright young minds,” she shared.

By the end of the day, students had gained a more well-rounded comprehension of many professions that fall under the healthcare umbrella. Some students even expressed interest in exploring a healthcare profession in the future.

“I get to help educate the next generation of doctors, and maybe one day you could be at UIW studying all sorts of specialties,” closed Dr. John Pham, dean and chief academic officer of UIWSOM. “But the most important thing is you must have that drive and desire to want to do it. We all have to work together to become a good healthcare provider or just a good person in order to help people.”