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The Central High School Pre-Medical Magnet Program is giving west Louisville students an up-close and personal experience with a career in medicine. Students are able to shadow UofL School of Medicine and UofL Health doctors during rounds at UofL Hospital, scrub into operating rooms and witness surgeries, and also get practice performing simpler procedures, like sutures through this immersive curriculum.
“The Central High School Pre-Medical Magnet Program is what I’ve dreamed of being able to create since I graduated medical school,” said Edward Miller, assistant professor and director of maternal fetal medicine at UofL and provider with UofL Physicians – OB/GYN & Women’s Health. “This is a chance for students in west Louisville to not only know doctors that look like them, but to call them a mentor and friend.”
“UofL Health is proud to support Central High School and inspire the next generation of health care workers,” said Tom Miller, UofL Health CEO. “This program complements our commitment to reduce barriers to care by reducing barriers for employment. Together, with our fully funded UofL tuition program, we are investing to ensure our community is well prepared for the future.”
The pre-medical pipeline program launched in August and offers educational opportunities, mentorship, college credit and hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships. Its creation is in partnership with UofL Health, the UofL School of Medicine, Falls City Medical Society and Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS).
“I am so proud of our students and so excited to see their success,” Central High School Principal Dr. Tamela Compton said. “Our first pre-medical magnet class has already learned so much – from gaining hands-on first aid and emergency response experience in Central High School classrooms to scrubbing into surgeries at the hospital. Just two months into the program, these students are flourishing.”
More than 20 Central High seniors are currently rotating through different specialties, including OB/GYN, anesthesia and cardiothoracic surgery, while learning from UofL Health physicians and local physicians through the Falls City Medical Society. The Falls City Medical Society is committed to advancing the art and science of medicine for people of African descent and is playing a key role in ensuring student experience in the Pre-Medical Magnet Program is integrated into the Louisville physician community. Students shadow these physicians twice a week, earning college credit.
Later this month, the program will open up to Central High School juniors, who will rotate through each of the 10 core specialties.
“We are proud of our continued and strengthened partnership with Central High School and the opportunities it provides our faculty and students,” said Toni Ganzel, dean of the UofL School of Medicine. “Working alongside school administrators to enact quality learning for underserved youth is a strategic goal of the School of Medicine. We aim to fill our classrooms with diverse and talented students that reflect the world around us, and it is partnerships such as this that will create that transformative change.”
Students in the Central High School Magnet Career Academy (MCA) are selected for admission through a competitive process that includes achievement test scores, grade point average (GPA), personal essays and other teacher recommendations. Central has the second-highest number of Governor’s Scholars in the district. Central is one of two high schools in Kentucky to offer Montessori education.
“This program is already changing lives,” JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said. “Central’s pre-medical magnet students will graduate with knowledge many don’t gain until college. Opportunities like this are what we are working hard to provide to all JCPS students, so they graduate college and career ready.”