“The future of medicine is truly with you,” said museum docent John Truman, MD, former physician at MassGeneral Hospital for Children, to Boston-area students visiting the Paul S. Russell, MD, Museum of Medical History and Innovation. The youth are part of the YMCA Achievers program, which supports high school students with aspirations of attending college.

During their Aug. 7 visit to the MGH, the group also toured the Ether Dome and took part in a hands-on medical simulation led by Patrick Smithedajkul, MD, hospitalist and Learning Laboratory faculty lead for Community Outreach, and Catherine Albin, MD, Neurology resident. Students observed as Smithedajkul and Albin described the symptoms of the mannequin patient, then correctly identified the symptoms as a severe allergic reaction, learned to properly administer an EpiPen and identified next steps if they were to encounter this in real life.

“When I heard the mannequin patient wheezing, it brought me right back to the time I had an asthma attack,” says Juliet Echavarria, 15, a YMCA Achiever. “It was so real. But when the doctors were helping us evaluate the patient, it showed me how important it is to act fast and make decisions.”

The students then went on a scavenger hunt, discussed imaging techniques and learned to take a pulse properly. Following the museum tour and simulation, the students attended a “Just got hired? Don’t get fired!” presentation led by MGH YMCA Adult Achievers and members of the Association of Multicultural Members of Partners (AMMP) that focused on workplace expectations and skills, including proper attire, phone etiquette and communication skills.

“The goal of the workshop was to arm the teens with knowledge about how to be successful in the workplace, since many of them are starting their first job,” says Dianne Austin, MGH director of Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement. “The topics that we focused on are things that have tripped up employees twice their age.”

Read more articles from the 08/10/18 Hotline issue.