Indiana University School of Medicine - Fort Wayne (IUSM-FW) campus welcomed several area high school students to its annual “Health Sciences Summer Camp.” The camp took place June 6-10, and resulted in many of the participants stating that it has fueled their interests in pursuing a career in healthcare.
“At Indiana University, we are proactive in promoting diversity, and we want students of all backgrounds to recognize the opportunities that are available to them here in Fort Wayne,” said the Camp Director and IUSM-FW Assistant Professor of Clinical Anatomy, Cell Biology & Physiology, Leslie Hoffman, PhD.
As of 2022, a mere 8% of applicants to medical schools are black, Hispanic or mixed race, yet the 2021 census results found these minority groups make up over a third (34.4%) of America’s population. Dr. Hoffman believes that programs, like this camp, are a benefit to both students and the community.
“Our mission is two-fold,” said Dr. Hoffman. “We want students to consider a career in healthcare, and we want to increase the diversity of healthcare workers in Fort Wayne.”
Indiana University Fort Wayne is highly regarded for its many degree programs in medical and healthcare-related fields. Camp attendees were introduced to top professors, who led them in interactive lessons in anatomy, neuroscience, medical imaging, nursing, and dentistry. Students attended camp each day from 9 a.m. until noon and were given the opportunity to participate in several exciting hands-on activities, including a code simulation and a pig heart dissection. In addition, students enjoyed meeting and engaging with several healthcare professionals, including a physician assistant, a pharmacist, a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, and a social worker.
Students from Allen County’s Snider High School and East Allen University High School were the primary participants in the camp. Preference was given to students who are members of ethnic populations that are underrepresented in the medical profession based on their numbers in the general population, as defined by the Association of American Medical Colleges.
“We had a really great group of students at this year’s Health Sciences Summer Camp, and I believe the passion of our instructors has made a real impact on these kids' future career plans,” said Dr. Hoffman. “Our goal is for them to feel empowered to pursue a career where they can make a positive impact in their community.”
Students interested in participating in the 2023 Indiana University School of Medicine-Fort Wayne Health Sciences Summer Camp should contact their guidance counselors for more information.