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Burrell College Hosts High School Outreach Experience

On March 4th, the Eastern New Mexico Youth Medical Explorers (ENMYME) facilitated a hands-on learning event and campus tour for high school students from Roswell, New Mexico. ENMYME is a student organization comprised mostly of 3rd & 4th-year medical students rotating in our Eastern New Mexico Regional Academic Center. With help from faculty, staff, and student volunteers, they coordinated this unique learning opportunity to encourage Roswell teens to pursue a future in osteopathic medicine. The event was a huge success, with volunteers teaching CPR and first-aid basics, as well as ultrasound techniques, and osteopathic manipulative medicine. This event was held in conjunction with a series of outreach and engagement events conducted by ENMYME at local schools in Roswell.

The high school students were bussed from Roswell, New Mexico to the Burrell College campus in Las Cruces. They first sat down for a lunch presentation where members of ENMYME, faculty, and other student volunteers spoke to them about the many different paths they can take in pursuit of a career in medicine. High schoolers asked questions ranging from what undergraduate studies they should seek out to prepare for medical school to what opportunities they can access now to help make them more appealing medical school candidates. One of the major takeaways from this presentation was sharing the principles of the Osteopathic Medicine Pathway Program, a unique partnership with NMSU that helps prepare their undergraduate students for a graduate education at Burrell College.

After the lecture session, the high schoolers spent the next two hours rotating in groups between four interactive medical learning stations. “Students were able to use handheld ultrasound machines to learn about the hand anatomy, such as arteries and veins, and using them on models,” explains Yunus Tekin, one of the leading members of ENMYME. “They also had the opportunity to use the handheld ultrasound machines on various models, such as examining the pregnant models. Students learned how to perform lifesaving procedures, such as CPR, using AEDs, and learning how to stop the bleed with a tourniquet application. Students also learned how to perform osteopathic manipulative medicine. They had the opportunity to treat various physical ailments, such as tense and tight neck and shoulder musculature.”

Although the event was coordinated by ENMYME, it was made possible through a collaborative effort between many of our student-led organizations, including the Ultrasound Club, OMM (Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine) Club, and Emergency Medicine Club. After the interactive learning experience, students were then able to tour the campus facilities, learning about the different areas of study they would encounter as medical students. Finally, the students of Roswell were each given a goodie bag, filled with information from Burrell College and NMSU, to further assist any high schooler interested in participating in the Osteopathic Medicine Pathway Program. “I hope this experience sparks the students’ interest in thinking about a career in medicine and helps them realize that there are always people and resources out there that can help them to reach a goal if they set their mind to it,” explains Rangina Farhad.

The event was very successful, with high school students expressing their excitement at learning about the different types of medicine they could pursue, and looking forward to potentially entering the College after they complete their undergraduate studies. The members of ENMYME are optimistic about the prospective futures of the students they interacted with at the event. “I hope that the high school students of Roswell will continue to pursue their dreams regardless of what field they decide to go into,” says Stephen Comeau. “By us going to their schools I hope they learned that we are here for them in the community to help them and that there are others like us that want the best for them. I remember what it was like to be in their shoes not so long ago and how good it felt that someone was looking out for me. It’s my turn to pay it forward, and I’ll continue to do so. I hope they will someday too.”

ENMYME will be continuing its outreach efforts in Eastern New Mexico in the upcoming school year, looking to expand to high schools outside of Roswell. They plan to potentially hold a “Career Planning Day” where they start talking to high school students about their intentional plans for their futures as well as assist those students with their applications to college.

ENMYME would like to express its gratitude to all the collaborators who helped make this and their other events a success, including Dorothy Hellums, the regional academic coordinator for Eastern New Mexico, who only just retired from her position after years of assisting students with their clinical rotations. They also want to thank Dr. Karen Vaillant and the rest of the Burrell faculty and staff who assisted them with hosting the event. “We would like to thank all the volunteers who helped make this an amazing event for the high schoolers, says Tekin.
“Thank you Ultrasound Club, OMM Club, and Emergency Medicine Club for your time and help.  We would especially like to thank my classmates, who made the journey from Roswell for this event. We would also like to thank Dorothy Hellums, Dr. Vaillant, the administrators, and educators from RISD, Burrell Student Affairs, especially Brett Newcomer, Burrell Admissions, NMSU Admissions, Shaminder Dillon and Ryan Mayhew from IT, Victoria Pineda and Summer Masoud from Institutional Advancement, Benji Matkin, and Art Guzman. Everyone shared the same passion and excitement to help better communities in New Mexico and inspire the next generation of healthcare heroes.”