UH Med Now

Inspiring future healthcare careers: The University of Hawaii medical school is a campus for all ages

Date: January 6th, 2020 in AHEC, Community Outreach, Workforce Development    Print or PDF

Pictured: Campbell High School students pose after a day spent learning at the UH Medical School.

On any day you might find junior high school students learning here along with MD students, candidates for Master’s and PhD’s and post-doctoral researchers.

By Tina Shelton, JABSOM Communications Director with Joey Sumulong of AHEC

Students of all ages walk through the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) campus year-round. Many of them are public high school students who seek hands-on exposure to what it’s like to bandage an arm, stitch up a cut, or operate a laparoscopic surgical device.

“I strongly believe that a field trip like this is a powerful and motivational experience that will help students see connections with the content and skills learned in their classroom,” said Dwayne Karlo Manzanillo of the Academy of Health Sciences at Campbell High School.

And it’s not just day trips going on. The Hawai’i Pacific Basin Area Health Education Center (AHEC) at JABSOM has students 9th through undergraduate years taking a twice monthly career and college success course called the CANOE Academy.

It’s a free course with solid benefits for students who may face academic or economic challenges. It builds upon these students’ motivation and interest in a healthcare related career.

“It gives me an idea of what the medical field is like. The the phlebotomy class we just finished, gave me more confidence to consider nursing or something else,” said Aaryn Novack, a senior at Radford High School, a member of the 2019-2020 Canoe Academy class.

Isabelle Stobie

“The Canoe Academy gives me opportunities to figure out what I want in a medical career and a chance to shadow doctors, ask questions, and learn things about the medical field that I didn’t know before coming into the program,” said Isabelle Stobie, a senior at Radford High School.

Students get support in building a resume, seeking out scholarships, locating financial aid, and preparing for college applications and admissions tests. They earn American Heart Association CPR/AED/First Aid, HIPAA, and OSHA certifications.

“It offers certifications that my high school does not give,” said Paula Angela Saladino, senior at Farrington High School.

“I enjoy most the certifications I received from being here, I love meeting new people and building relationships and connections that can help me throughout my career,” said Macina Mastubara-Bass senior at Roosevelt High School. “I also enjoy the volunteer experiences that they offer, and I really love the atmosphere and knowledge that I gained from this opportunity.”

Graphic of six Canoe Academy students' photos

From top, left, Aaryn Novack, Jaiden Marbury, Tea Stephens; Bottom Left: Paula Angela Saladino, Macina Mastubara-Bass and Aylssa Cruz.

“I like the lessons that we do and the fact that I’m surrounded by people that have similar interests in the medical field and it’s been really cool to collaborate with them. I’ve met many new friends here already,” said Jaiden Marbury senior at Moanalua High School.

The “paddlers” in the Canoe Academy get connected to community service, shadowing and research opportunities in their communities, and become inspired by field trips to colleges community health centers and hospitals.

“I think my favorite thing is the volunteering opportunities, certifications and just being around like-minded individuals,” said Alyssa Cruz, a Mililani High School senior.

Tea Stephens, University Lab School senior said, “At my school our health program isn’t that extensive so the opportunity to come to the Canoe Academy has opened my eyes to different realms of the medical field and promotes more self-discovery in the medicine field.”

Teaming with other health education partners, AHEC also organizes very popular “Teen Health Camps” on all islands, including the largest one in November 2019 that brought about 150 students from all over the state to the UH-Manoa medical school. For any student from high school to college to gap year who is interested in pursuing a career in healthcare (any health profession of the hundred out there), AHEC promises to help them get there. To know more about AHEC programs, please go on ahec.hawaii.edu and feel free to email ahec@hawaii.edu.

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