Summer Academy Gives High School Students Glimpse into Medical Careers

By: Courtney Caprara

As eager ninth and tenth grade students from all around the Pittsburgh region looked on, UPMC pathologist Sheldon Bastacky, M.D., showed sample after sample of diseased livers, lungs and intestines.

Dr. Bastacky was one of six physicians presenting an interactive, hands-on lesson as part of a rotation at the Southwestern Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Summer Health Career Academy hosted by the University of Pittsburgh. From June 20-24, 50 local students, all of whom are considering careers in the health sciences, had the opportunity to explore their desired career paths and to learn about the academic preparation necessary for these careers.

(null)In just one morning, students experienced six half-hour sessions dedicated to pathology, radiology, ultrasound, ophthalmology, intubation, and SimMan, a computer-operated patient simulator. At each station, a physician explained through demonstration the unique aspects of their specialty, giving students a better understanding of health careers that they might not otherwise explore.