The Kettering University Pre-Med program of study offers students a unique path to medical school through hands-on simulation workshops, experiential education, and perspectives that set them apart from students who take a traditional pre-med path.
Students have the opportunity to work as medical scribes as undergraduate students at hospitals such as Hurley Medical Center and at the Genesee County morgue. Scribes work directly with physicians to enter data into Electronic Medical Records while the doctor is focusing on patients. The role allows the undergrads unprecedented access in a hospital and the opportunity to learn about different types of medicine.
“The ability to generate these highly-contextual patient hours starting in the freshman year while working side by side with a physician is a unique aspect of the program,” said Dr. Laura Vosejpka, Dean of the Kettering University College of Sciences and Liberal Arts. “And our partnership with the Central Michigan University (CMU) College of Medicine to offer our undergraduates access to the state of the art Simulation Center in Saginaw is like nothing any other program can offer their students.”
Through the Pre-Med Club, students are participating in simulations at the Covenant HealthCare Simulation Center at CMU. Since spring 2018, students have taken several simulations, including emergency injuries and bleeding control, obstetrics, basic lifesaving in overdose situations, and infant lifesaving.
"These types of clinical experiences are normally reserved for medical students, so our pre-med students are getting a glimpse into what medical school will be like,” said Dr. Stacy Seeley, Department Head of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Director of the Pre-med Program. "The simulations are low-pressure ways to learn about medicine and definitely serve to excite our students about their future careers in the medical field."
The obstetrics workshop stood out to Abigail Howell ’21, a Biochemistry major, because it focused on a specific specialty rather than more general medical emergencies. The students helped an animatronic woman give birth and practiced handling emergency situations such as labor induction or shoulder dystocia, which is when the baby's shoulder is stuck.
“If a woman needs to be induced, there was actually a bag of water we had to break before delivering the baby. Overall, it was very realistic and educational,” she said.
The simulations have helped Howell determine her career track. Although she had considered obstetrics and gynecology when she started her co-op as a scribe at Hurley Medical Center in Flint, her experiences there and at the simulation center have piqued her interest in pediatrics.
“I have always liked babies, but I'm leaning more towards when they're far removed from the birth scene,” she said. “The workshops have interested me in emergency medicine, because most of the simulations pertain to that field, but I am also interested in primary care due to working in offices like that as a scribe.”
Kettering University graduates have gone on to attend top medical schools such as the University of Michigan and the University of California, Los Angeles and pursue careers as surgeons, physicians, and nurses.
Siblings Dr. Kristen Russell ‘13 and Dr. Mike Russell ‘12 studied Engineering at Kettering and are now in post-medical school residencies in Oklahoma City and the University of Iowa, respectively. They both believe a non-traditional path to medical school was an asset to them as it taught them different ways of thinking and provided work experience.
“Kettering is not only a good option for getting into medical school, it’s a great option,” said Mike Russell. “If I did my undergraduate career over again, I would take same path. Kettering offers opportunities no other academic institution offers.”
To learn more about Kettering University’s pre-med program, visit https://www.kettering.edu/programs-and-degrees/pre-med.
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