LHS senior takes on Baystate Hospital’s Mini Medical School

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Russo in her lab coat

Jocelyn Minie, Editorial Editor

For the past several weeks, Ludlow High School senior, Alyssa Russo, has been getting an inside look into the world of medicine through Baystate Medical Center’s Mini-Medical School Program.

Russo, who is interested in psychiatric nursing, enrolled herself in the program after her brother recommended it. Every Thursday night for eight weeks, a specialized doctor gives her and the other students a tour through different departments of the hospital. “You receive a lab coat and ID to feel like an actual med student,” says Russo.

The course schedule consists of an Orientation, Graduation, and different topics each week including Anesthesiology, Total Knee and Hip Replacements, Psychiatry, Pathology, Infectious Diseases, Surgery, and Thoracic Surgery.

These tours allow students to see which part of the medical field they would be interested in and narrow down their options.

“While I have been taking this class, I have been focusing on which department I would one day want to work in. I can already tell I am not interested in Anesthesiology, Knee and Hip Replacements, and the Children’s Hospital,” comments Alyssa.

Even though she is still interested in Psychiatry, Russo’s favorite part of the course has been the Wesson Women’s Department. “It was so cute to see a bunch of tiny, newborns sleeping peacefully in an arranged area, being taken care of by neonatal nurses.”

Not every part of the tour is as bright as the Women’s Department. Alyssa warns that the Children’s Hospital was extremely emotional to walk through. Sick children walk around hooked up to oxygen tanks and have IVs inserted in their arms.

To create a cheerful atmosphere, children’s artwork, stickers, and toys are present everywhere in the department. “It was heartwarming to actually see positive things displayed around to make the kids happy,” says Russo.

With doctor’s personal experiences, insight into each department, and the atmosphere of what it truly feels like to work in the hospital, Russo definitely promotes Baystate’s Mini-Medical School.

“I would 110% recommend this opportunity to anyone who is considering going into the medical field,” says Russo. “I am going to be receiving information from the director to post in our Guidance Department so other students can have this opportunity.”

The eight week program costs $95 and each student is given a certificate of completion. Even though the Fall schedule is soon to be over, you haven’t missed your chance. A new course will begin in the Spring, so keep your eyes and ears open for any news around LHS.

For more information you can go to www.baystatehealth.org or call the Baystate Health Link at 413-794-2255.