Outreach Program Inspires Students to Pursue Careers in Health Sciences

By Juliana Bunim on April 21, 2011

UCSF welcomed a diverse group of students to the University last weekend for an event designed to stimulate their interest health science professions. Students received a hands-on lesson using simulated mannequins in the high-tech Teaching and Learning Center at UCSF.

A diverse group of undergraduate students from across the state visited UCSF last weekend to become inspired about future careers in health sciences.

The UCSF schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy and the Graduate Division hosted the students as part of the annual outreach program "Inside UCSF."  The exciting and informative event is designed to give students at two- and four-year universities an in-depth introduction to a specific health science career path and a chance to meet current students.

Part of its ongoing efforts to serve the community and nurture diversity, UCSF covers the cost of meals, materials, and travel for all participants, as well as accommodations for those from outside the Bay Area. The event is designed to encourage young people to purse higher education and careers in life sciences and health professions.  

“Inside UCSF is our signature outreach event on this campus. Our mission at UCSF is advancing health worldwide and we want to do that with a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Renee Navarro, MD, PharmD, vice chancellor of diversity and outreach in her keynote address to the students.

“The country continues to lack underrepresented minorities in health care professions," said Navarro. "As health care providers we're challenged with caring for a diverse group of people, and we need a diverse group of providers. We need you to help us solve the persistent issues of health inequity in this country.”  

During the two-day event, students toured two of the most recent additions to the Parnassus campus: the 74,000-square-foot stem cell research building that is designed to foster intensive collaboration and a cross-pollination of ideas among scientists representing a broad spectrum of labs and disciplines and the Teaching and Learning Center (TLC), the 22,000-square-foot high-tech educational center dedicated to interprofessional education. At the TLC, eager students explored the simulation suites, including the four-bed inpatient unit stocked with simulated people: $80,000 training mannequins that have heartbeats, can be intubated, can go into shock and even shed tears.

The visiting students also heard directly from UCSF students talk about their experiences at the University in a panel discussion and learned about the realities of financing a professional education.

“Thinking back to being a little girl in Mobile, Alabama, I realize that sometimes you can’t see the vision of your future, but you have to keep pursuing your passion and moving forward,” said Navarro. “Hopefully, this glimpse into UCSF will provide you with the motivation.”

Photos by Susan Merrell