Wednesday, September 6, 2023
Florida Catholic staff - Florida Catholic
FORT LAUDERDALE | While some teenagers used summer break to play video games or float around their pool, a very studious group of aspiring doctors enrolled in the University of Miami / Holy Cross Health Summer Surgical Scholars (S3) program, a new immersive program for high school students interested in medicine and surgery.
“As an associate professor of surgery, I typically interact with students who are in their 20s and older,” said Dr. Handel Robinson, associate professor of surgery and University of Miami at Holy Cross surgical residency director. “I was very impressed by the maturity of these teenagers. Witnessing their intelligence and ability to learn complex medical terminology and procedures gives me so much hope and promise for the future of medicine. I hope their interest in becoming a doctor continues as they select college majors and career paths. Future patients would be lucky to have them as their physicians one day.”
The exclusive program, in its inaugural year, was available to students ages 16 and older who are relatives of Holy Cross Health employees. Participation was free of charge thanks to the generosity of the general surgery residents and attending physicians who volunteered their time to teach and mentor the next generation of surgeons.
Over the course of four days, participants shadowed general surgery residents and attending physicians in the operating room, clinic and emergency room, attended academic lectures and participated in additional hands-on experiences.
In addition to the Perez siblings, three students from St. Lucie and Orange counties participated: Jazmine Villa from St. Lucie West Centennial High School in Port St. Lucie; Christina Richards from Pompano Beach High School; and Javier Otero from Lake Nona High School in Orlando.
“The S3 Program provides high school students a truly unique opportunity to develop early medical interests and gain insight into surgical specialties,” said Dr. Nathan Schoen, cofounder of S3 and chief surgery resident of University of Miami at Holy Cross. “Through my own struggle finding meaningful shadowing and mentorship as a young student, I knew there was a need for an established, immersive shadowing program in surgery. With the assistance of my own mentors and coresidents, we gladly volunteered our time to teach these impressive high school students. We aimed to pique their interest in medicine and serve as role models who can help guide their future careers, possibly even at Holy Cross for their own residencies.”
“Fostering interest and motivation in medicine with the next generation of healthcare providers is vital to the future of the industry,” said Dr. Michael Perez, chief of surgery and S3 cofounder. “For these potential future physicians and healthcare professionals, completion of the University of Miami / Holy Cross Health Summer Surgical Scholars Program not only provides insight and direction to these students, but is also a well-deserved, impressive addition to their resumes and college applications.”
A member of Trinity Health, Holy Cross Health is a full-service, non-profit, Catholic, teaching hospital operating in the spirit of the Sisters of Mercy.