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BR Students Thrive at this Medical Externship

by Marissa Fiske/ Junior Writer

Two Blue Ridge High School students are participating in the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine’s high school externship.

Juniors Erin Klock and Emily McCarthy visit the school each month, participating in hands-on activities and sitting in on informational lectures. 

Although Klock and McCarthy are not graded and receive no college credit for the experience, they both say that they are learning about health care issues that will likely fit nicely into their future college-learning experiences.

Both students attend Zoom meetings two to three times a month, and both attend the medical school’s physical location once a month. Visits are scheduled from October to May.

So far, the girls have spent three days at the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine.

On one trip they learned how to dissect a cow’s eyeball and a pig’s kidney. The girls say that when they removed membranes and looked inside of the eyeball and kidney, they also learned more about human anatomy and how diseases affect these structures.

Klock and McCarthy have also learned about diabetes. They spoke to a podiatrist over Zoom about how diabetes affects people’s feet and then injected insulin into a fake piece of skin while at the school. These experiences allow them to build a knowledge base for their futures as healthcare workers.

On National Aids Day, Klock and McCarthy learned about the treatment for HIV/AIDS patients, looking at the different treatments and discovering the disease can be controlled, but not cured.

At their most recent zoom meeting, they met with a medical student who is specializing in skin cancer.

Questions for Emily McCarthy

How will this program help you in the future?

“This program allows me to gain further knowledge within the medical field, making my interest expand tremendously.”

Is this program beneficial for you since you want to go into the medical field?

“I think that this program is very beneficial; it allows me to think about my career earlier in life. By having these opportunities I’m more comfortable and confident that I will choose a medical field that will be best for me.”

Questions for Erin Klock

Is this program introducing you to new specialties in the medical field?

“I would say this program has greatly increased my knowledge about careers in the medical field through interactions with different specialists, such as a podiatrist.”

At the end of the day, do you feel you are walking away learning something new?

“Overall, I believe this program is extremely beneficial and increases my knowledge of medical issues and awareness of different issues among society due to lack of medical literacy.”

Here’s the link for the Common Wealth School of Medicine: https://www.geisinger.edu/gchs/education/gcsom/regional-campus/northeast-campus/medical-sciences-building

Read more about health: https://www.raiderreader.org/the-importance-of-staying-clean-and-healthy/

Photo taken by: Jacinda Miller

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Marissa Fiske
Marissa Fiske
Marissa Fiske is a junior who is the secretary of her class. She is in National Honors Society. Outside of school, Marissa enjoys being with her loved ones, and going to different places. Marissa spends most of her time with her family and dogs.
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