Teens become doctors, nurses in 'Summer Scrubs' program

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While many high school students are spending their summer break relaxing, others from across Arizona are "trying on" a variety of health professions during the annual "Summer Scrubs" program at The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix campus.

On Wednesday, June 24, the students met in the college's Center for Simulation and Innovation to learn techniques in using ultrasound.

The downtown Phoenix campus has played host to teenagers each summer since 2004 and has the only program of its kind in Arizona to provide a medical profession-focused program for 9th and 10th graders. The program also includes 11th graders. Nearly 20 counselors, who are current or aspiring medical students, serve as student mentors and camp staff.

In the initial week of the summer session, high school freshmen and sophomores were introduced into health professions. Later, 11th graders explored medical school with an introduction to various specialties from physician instructors.

This week, high school juniors are experiencing an immersive program featuring the rigors of medical school while living in a residence hall near campus. More than 80 percent of the campers hail from Arizona communities outside Maricopa County. The teens are learning real medical skills in the simulation center, participating in laboratory research and hearing from faculty representing a wide range of health care disciplines.

Summer Scrubs is partially funded by the Arizona Latin-American Medical Association and Greater Valley Area Health Education Center. Scholarships were awarded to one-third of this year's participants. A record amount of more than 230 applications were received from nearly 50 high schools this year.

The College of Medicine's Phoenix program aims to increase the number of underrepresented health-care professionals in Arizona through longitudinal programs like Summer Scrubs. More information is available at http://phoenixmed.arizona.edu/scrubs.

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