On Jan. 15 , Ben Carson High School sophomore Gabriel Dent was accepted into MSU FutureDOcs Program. Hosted virtually this year, FutureDOcs has students interacting with physicians, medical students and other healthcare professionals virtually via engaging activities.
"I'm excited about the program because my future career is to be a nurse," Dent said. "This program will help me achieve this goal."
According to its website, Future DOcs exposes high school students interested in pursuing a career as a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine or Physician Assistant to osteopathic manipulative medicine, CPR, first aid, anatomy, biochemistry, clinical skills and leadership.
“It’s a mini medical school experience” says Dr. Katherine Ruger, the associate dean of admissions and student life in the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Michigan State University.
BCHS college transition adviser Sean Henry said: “The Future DOcs program has been a longtime favorite for BCHS students because MSU has been a partner of our school for a long time too. But I think the primary benefit for students is the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a field that can be difficult to get hands-on experience in while still in high school: the medical field.”
The program is completely free and applications were open to high school sophomores, juniors and seniors with a 3.0 cumulative GPA or above.
“Very few programs that students can join before senior year offer the opportunity to get those sorts of hands-on experiences, so Future DOcs stands out among the programs for doing so," Henry said. "When paired with the fact that it also exposes students to college-level academics, Future DOcs is an excellent way for students to get a head start on their own future."
The program relies on help from College of Osteopathic Medicine students, alumni and faculty who volunteer to serve as Future DOcs mentors. Started in 2011 to introduce students at Detroit’s Benjamin Carson High School to careers in medicine, the Future DOcs program has grown to include the Macomb and Lansing regions.