OSU medical student Christopher Kobe is committed to inspiring today’s youth to consider careers in medicine. As director of the ninth annual summer MD Camp, a student-run program for high school juniors and senior, Kobe, along with several other medical student volunteers, facilitated this year’s program, hailed to be the best camp experience yet.
With the goal to encourage the development of doctors who are underrepresented in medicine, MD camp is an intensive three-week program designed to introduce high school students to medical school through activities ranging from hearing physicians speak about medical practice and disease to practicing clinical skills.
The program is directed towards students in the Columbus area, but this year’s group included an out-of-state participant, as well as participants from the Cleveland and Cincinnati areas. The camp aims to cultivate a passion for medicine, especially for students who may not otherwise be exposed to career opportunities in the healthcare field.
And Kobe, it seems, is the perfect man for the job. “I wanted to be part of MD Camp because I absolutely love working with kids. Whether I am inspiring them to dream big or helping them with one of life’s many challenges, I can’t think of anything that I enjoy doing more. I am also extremely passionate about being the change I want to see and helping those who need it most,” he says.
For Kobe, the planning began months before the first day of camp, as this year’s session involved some novel and exciting undertakings that had never before been part of the camp’s schedule.
On July 3, the students followed Robert Higgins, MD, for a full day of cardiology-based experiences. Dr. Higgins brought a standardized mock heart attack patient through the emergency room at Ross Hospital and into actual surgery settings. For the first time in MD Camp history, students were able to witness the care given to a heart attack patient in a true medical setting in this heart attack triage simulation. One lucky high school student, Kameron Inggul, was even given the chance to sit in on an actual surgery the evening before the heart attack simulation with Dr. Higgins. Later that same day, MD Campers had the opportunity to tour the med flight helicopter, which sits atop the main hospital located in the center of the OSU Wexner Medical Center campus.
Other activities that took place during this year’s MD Camp included attending lectures with healthcare professionals, touring research laboratories, helping out in the community, and practicing skills such as CPR, ultrasound, splinting, and blood draw in the Medical Center’s newly expanded Clinical Skills Education and Assessment Center.
Created through the initiative of Jeff Pettey, an alumnus of OSU’s College of Medicine, MD Camp is completely student-run and organized. It is part of the College’s pipeline effort to engage students from demographics that are underrepresented in medical careers. In turn, it is the college’s hope that these students will go on to become future physicians who will inspire initiatives to bring better care to underserved communities, once they are doctors.
If the atmosphere during the MD Camp White Coat Ceremony held at the Ohio State House was any indication, it seems that MD Camp did its job this year for the twenty-six students in attendance. “The students' parents, siblings, extended family members, and friends could not stop clapping after everyone had received their white coat. There was not a single person in the room who did not have a grin from ear to ear. You could sense the feeling of accomplishment from our campers and sense of pride from their loved ones,” Kobe says.