(COLLEGE STATION) – The College of Medicine at The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center is hosting students from the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine (NYLF) on Thursday, July 21. Since its inception 12 years ago, the NYLF program has introduced exceptional high school students to the field of medicine and provides them with the opportunity to interact with faculty and staff from many of the top medical schools and hospitals across the country. Currently, NYLF takes place in the following cities: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
As part of the program based in the Houston area, the A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine hosts groups of students for a full day during two summer sessions. Students also visit the A&M Health Science Center Institute of Biosciences and Technology in Houston, Baylor College of Medicine, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.
The College of Medicine welcomed 80 students during the first session July 7 and expects 88 for this week’s program. In addition to planning a full day of educational activities for the students, the college also provides three need-based tuition scholarships of $2,045 to local high school students who attend the Houston program.
The day’s schedule is designed to give participants a look into the lives of A&M College of Medicine students, as well as provide insight into careers in medicine and medical research. The program kicks off with a welcome from the dean, Christopher C. Colenda, M.D., M.P.H., followed by a talk on medical school admissions from the college’s assistant dean for admissions. Students then begin the first two of their four “rotations”, which include a medical student panel, a session on physical diagnosis, an introduction to medical research and a lecture on gross anatomy and neuroanatomy.
J.T.L. McNew, M.D., one of the college’s local preceptors, presents a lecture on medical ethics, followed by tours of the Reynolds Medical Building and the last two rotations. Lastly, Robert Wiprud, M.D., assistant professor of family and community medicine and division director of the department of family medicine at College Station’s Scott & White Clinic, gives a presentation entitled “From Womb to Tomb: A Family Practice Approach”.
Students in the NYLF program must currently be enrolled as sophomores, juniors or seniors in high school and must demonstrate an interest in the field of medicine. Participants are nominated by their teachers or mentors, alumni of NYLF programs, or are nominated based on information provided on voluntary pre-college surveys. Students must have a grade point average of “B+” (87% or 3.3 on a 4.0 scale) or above and expect to graduate from high school in 2006 or 2007.
Through partnerships with hospitals, research facilities and medical schools, the forum challenges students to learn about a broad range of topics including educational requirements, career options and clinical practice, as well as complex ethical and legal issues facing the medical profession in the 21st century. Students discuss global epidemics, cures for life-threatening diseases, life as a resident, medical specialties and primary care with current physicians and patients. Each program culminates in a simulation that challenges students to consider a specific issue in medical ethics and to present recommendations for approaching resolution and/or treatment for each case.

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