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Hands-On Clinical Experiences Ignite Interest in Medical, Science, Technology, and Research Careers

White Plains Hospital (WPH)

White Plains Hospital Clinical Tutorial Program Connects High School Students to Healthcare Careers

Program Expands to Include Ten Local High Schools

Hands-On Clinical Experiences Ignite Interest in Medical, Science, Technology, and Research Careers

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (January 4, 2017)— “On a typical Wednesday night, when my senior friends were curled up watching Netflix…I never expected to find myself wrapping my hands around a human colon in the pathology lab at White Plains Hospital,” says Carly Glickenhaus, a 2016 graduate of Scarsdale High School.

Such is the “hands-on” experience an ambitious group of high school seniors receive weekly through the White Plains Hospital Clinical Tutorial Program (WPHCT), a semester-long educational program offered by the Hospital.

“Programs like this are more important than ever because they help nurture an interest in STEAM careers earlier, before students are even in college.” STEAM programs (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Design, and Mathematics) are a national initiative designed to integrate concepts that are usually taught in the classroom as separate subjects and that emphasize the application of knowledge to real-life situations.

Dr. Carl Weber developed the program in 1988 in collaboration with Scarsdale High School (SHS) and the late Dr. Thomas Sobol, former Superintendent of SHS and Commissioner of Education for the State of New York. Previously recognized by Texaco Company with an award for community outreach, the current program, now directed by Dr. Kaare Weber, recently broadened its outreach. In 2015, students from Scarsdale, Harrison, and White Plains were involved. Now, the program is expanding to include the school districts of Edgemont, Elmsford, Byram Hills, Ardsley, Irvington, Greenberg, and Ossining.

Each week, students spend two hours at White Plains Hospital and receive exposure to surgical and medical specialties, nursing, advanced practice providers (APPs), as well as additional professions in the medical field nursing, and emergency response through a series of seminars and correlated clinical experiences. Students gain an understanding of the anatomy and physiology of various organ systems, as well as pathology of common disease entities. Participants are also exposed to the various advances in diagnostics and treatments across a broad range of medical subspecialties.

Inclusion in the program is selective–12 students are chosen each semester with the input of their schools. The selection is made based on an exhibited interest in a career in medicine or science, a history of academic excellence, and a commitment to consistent participation in the weekly program. An anonymous donor from the Hospital’s Board of Directors has made funding for the program possible.

“Currently, 12 surgeons actively participate in the program, along with numerous physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other clinical staff,” says Dr. Weber. “These students bring such energy and passion to the program. It’s a highly rewarding experience for everyone involved, and for White Plains Hospital, it’s wonderful to be able to nurture the next generation of healthcare providers.”

Since the WPHCT accommodates a limited numbers of students, a separate two-day program was created around robotic technology. The Robotics Program is co-directed by Dr. Philip Weber and Prachee Pathak, P.A. and facilitated by Dr. Joan Weber, Outreach Consultant for the Hospital.

Recently, students in the WPHCT had the opportunity to tour an Emergency Services Unit (ESU) vehicle owned and operated by the City of White Plains Department of Public Safety and the White Plains Police Department. Through this collaborative effort, students were introduced to the world of emergency management and response, and gained an understanding of how the city and hospital work together, exercise together, and train together–all to protect the community.

According to Carly Glickenhaus, WPHCT program helps illuminate the path forward. “Flipping through a college course catalog leaves many ambitious college freshmen feeling like kids in a candy store, not knowing where to begin. The WPH program offers high school students the exposure that will be necessary to make informed decisions as they begin to navigate their career paths on a college campus, giving students experience to rely on while considering the multitude of choices before them.”

For information on program enrollment, please contact Kaare Weber, MD, Director of Surgery at (914) 681-1217.

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