Summer Program Trains Current Students to Become Future Medical Professionals
Sean Keane ’23
Many Chaminade High School students choose to enter the field of medicine and, in doing so, accept a sacred oath to heal the bodies and minds of their patients. Many of these alumni also make sure that the faith they developed at Chaminade remains an integral part of their practice.
Dr. Vincent DeOrchis ’98, head of the Alumni Healthcare Association, stated, “As Catholics, the practice of medicine is often seen as a vocation more than a profession—a way to personally express the love of Christ.”
In an effort to introduce students to the medical field, Chaminade hosted a Medical Boot Camp during the summer. Over the course of a week, students met for five hours a day in the Dolan Family Science, Technology, and Research Center.
Mrs. Deborah Kendric, Director of Alumni and Parent Re- lations, described the thought process behind the Medical Boot Camp, saying, “Our Alumni Healthcare Association is committed to mentoring up-and-coming medical students…
Today’s healthcare industry is so vast, and there are many opportunities in the field. The camp allowed our students to learn about various careers in medicine, as well as the responsibilities, demands, and education that each of these careers entails.”
Students who attended the camp were able to listen to four doctors a day, all of whom gave presentations on their specific fields of medicine. The specialists included a pediatrician, radiologist, neurologist, gastroenterologist, dentist, urologist, chiropractor, hospital social worker, and psychologist. Former New York State Senator Kemp Hannon ’63 also led a discussion on the importance of public health.
Over the course of the camp, current medical school students and residents talked about what it is like in the early stages of one’s career. A primary care physician taught skills such as how to take someone’s blood pressure, what to look for when giving a check-up, and how to take blood.
DeOrchis remarked, “As physicians, our role is not limited to healing; we are, at our core, teachers. Whether sharing knowledge with our patients, colleagues, or students, every physician has an innate desire to disperse the volumes of information they have acquired in their training and practice.”
Dr. Michael Ronan ’91, one of the visiting specialists, introduced campers to the field of pediatric care. He spoke about what a doctor’s typical day is like, and he explained subspecialties of pediatric care such as cardiology and neurology for children.
Ronan also explained what it is like to give medical care in third-world countries, as his recent trip to Ecuador involved working side-by-side with surgeons and anesthesiologists to provide care for children in need.
Finally, Ronan walked students through the application process for medical school, explaining, “The most important thing that I always try to tell people is that if you are considering going to medical school, you don’t have to be pre-med in college. When you’re applying to medicine, medical schools are looking for people to do an excellent job with their college work. In fact, you’ll probably be a better doctor and a more interesting candidate if you don’t enter pre-med, so it’s good to do whatever it is that you love.”
Chaminade’s prospective physicians will continue to receive guidance via the school’s brand-new Medical Club. Dr. Melinda Viscusi of the biology department, who is also a specialist in podiatry and podiatric surgery, serves as the club’s moderator and provides valuable insights to students who are interested in the medical field.
Nicholas O’Malley ’15, a third-year medical student at the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine, concluded, “The most important lesson we learn at Chaminade is how to partake in Christ’s mission by giving ourselves to others. In medicine, and in health care generally, we are uniquely suited to do just that. That’s why it’s so important and gratifying to encourage young Flyers to explore a career in the health professions.”