Community Engagement

Community Engagement

The School of Medicine Works to Train the Next Generation of Physicians

By Dave McIntosh, PhD, Associate Dean for Urban Health Innovation and Chief Diversity Officer, School of Medicine

In the middle of July, while most middle and high school students were enjoying their summer break, a group of 13 students from the Cabbage Patch Settlement House in Louisville spent a week learning about the rigors of medical school and the practice of medicine. As part of a new camp, the School of Medicine designed a series of experiences to introduce and inspire young people interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) to pursue careers in medicine. The week included simulation training experiences similar to those utilized by practicing physicians and medical school students. The highlights of the week included: virtually operating on the GI track using a simulator, watching a live open-heart surgery (that included the opportunity to ask the surgeon questions in real time during the operation), learning how to use an ultrasound machine, capturing expanding their own DNA so that it was visible to the naked eye, and holding actual hearts.   Each day during lunch, the students also had the unique opportunity to interact with practicing physicians who not only shared their favorite patient stories, but also discussed their story: why they chose a career in medicine, who inspires them in their work, the toughest part of medical school, along with many other insights.  This unique experience provided students a glimpse into the life of a medical school student and a physician.  With this experience, the School of Medicine is poised to hopefully expand the program to include more students and create additional learning opportunities for students interested in a career in medicine.   

Cabbage Patch students in the simulation lab    Cabbage Patch students in the simulation lab


Ophthalmologists screen and educate younger generation

By Chandler Hawkins

On August 25, ophthalmologists and optometrists of the Kentucky Lion’s Eye Center removed themselves from the lab and office to travel to the West End School to educate and screen students. Students had the opportunity to receive free eye screenings along with eye safety and care information from physicians.

The West End School is a free private school that educates students from pre-K through eighth grade. The school opened in 2005 and is known for its alternative forms of learning and education for young men in the Louisville community. The West End School strives to address cultural issues while also challenging students to be successful. 

Nicholas Silvestros, O.D., a pediatric eye specialist, helped facilitate the event.

"Not only did we screen for visual conditions that affect their visual development and visual function, we made it educational for them by discussing eye health and safety during each child's screening,” Silvestros said.

“We had residents participate in the screening, which allowed them to be removed from the exam room and learn to examine and identify visual problems in a different environment utilizing different skills. We were able to identify many eye conditions that cause visual difficulties ranging from kids needing glasses to some requiring surgical treatments."

West End School    Dr. Silvestros at West End School


Lions Eye Center staff and students at West End School


More stories --

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