Medical Program Inspiring Mount St. Michael Students

Students of Mount St. Michael Academy are taking advantage of an after school program that further enhances their knowledge of science.

In 2006, Dr. Lynne Holden, emergency room doctor at Montefiore Medical Center, helped develop the Mentoring in Medicine Program with fellow colleagues to help minority students achieve their dreams of becoming health professionals.

The organization created programs to inspire and teach students about biological sciences, health careers and healthy living. Mount St. Michael Academy offers the Human Biology and Disease Exploration Program after school once a week as part of the Mentoring in Medicine Program.

“The program is nothing short of spectacular at our school,” said Mount science teacher Jessica Rottenstein. “The kids really love it and they’re so interested in everything that they learn. Students can access medical professionals that will engage them and help them pursue a medical career.”

Mount St. Michael’s has offered the program to its students since the fall of 2009 is one of only five NYC high schools that are part of the Human Biology and Disease Exploration Program.

The students are able to interact with a variety of health professionals in the biological sciences such as doctors, pathologists, anesthesiologists and lab technicians, and work hands-on with medical techniques such as dissection and learn how to prepare for college curriculum.

With the help of these health professionals, students review the organ system outline that is encountered daily in the medical field, such as the reproductive system, the endocrine (glands) system and the integumentary (skin) system.

The program consists of five lecture modules, three health career modules and two after school field trips, and over the last year, the students were taken on trips to the Montefiore Medical Center, Pathology Laboratories at Cornell University, and most recently the Brain Exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History.

“I like this program because it introduces me to the medical field. I see what physicians and other medical professionals actually do,” said Mount junior Andres Rodriguez, who wants to become an anesthesiologist. “My favorite part of the program was the field trip to Montefiore, where I got to see exactly how a CAT scan was performed and what it did.”

According to the American Association of Medical Colleges, African American, Latino and Native Americans make up approximately 25 percent of the country’s population, however, they only account for 12 percent of United States medical school graduates.

With over 250 high school students taking part in the Mentoring in Medicine Program since 2009, Dr. Lynne Holden is very pleased with the positive effect the Human Biology and Disease Exploration Program has had on Mount St. Michael Academy.

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