So you want to be a doctor? High schoolers get medical training at CHUM summer camp
High school students heading to day camp in downtown Montreal are trying out something new this summer.
The University of Montreal's Health Centre (CHUM) is teaching basic medical techniques, including CPR, to high school students from across Quebec in the hope that they’ll one day study medicine.
“We want to create a passion for the health system,” said Sarah Mehenni, assistant director of teaching at CHUM. “They can choose between the life of a doctor, nurse, pharmacist or professional health. It's helping them choose the type of career they really feel.”
On Friday morning they put in practice what they learned all week by doing life-saving simulations, pretending to be paramedics, nurses, doctors and surgeons working in real-time on medical mannequins.
From stitches to blood tests and surgery, the teens learned the basics needed for a medical emergency during the week-long camp.
“It feels pretty incredible. It's not a real person, but it was so incredible to have a real-life context and put into practice what we've been learning for a week,” said student Melody Yacoubian.
Theophile Bourgeois said he found doing CPR on a mock patient was an adrenaline rush.
"The team here put on a great simulation and I felt honestly I was getting tired doing it and I don't think I would have gotten tired if it didn't feel real to me,” he said.
Most of the participants are thinking about going into medical careers and plan to choose their CEGEP and university classes accordingly.
The CHUM said it was surprised by the interest in the Summer Academy program and so offered an extra week of camp.
A handful of places were given to students with high academic achievement.
For those who missed out, the hospital will likely repeat the day camp next year.