Rochester student participates in Harvard MEDscience program

Aug 25, 2019

Delaney Shaw, 16, of Rochester was chosen to participate in the Harvard Medical School’s MEDscience summer program from Aug. 5 to 9. The program offers Highschool students with hands-on experience in the medical field and has guest appearances from various professionals working in STEM fields.

“It was honestly a life changing experience because it was able to give me an insight into what I want to do in the future because of the hands on experience,” Shaw said. 

 In the five day program, Shaw learned how to do basic medical practices, responded to simulated emergencies using state of the art equipment, and ultimately made a decision about her future career path.

Working in groups of 13, students responded to eight medical emergency simulations using STAN patient simulators, which Shaw described as breathing, blinking mannequins.

In one simulation students saved a realistic mannequin from an asthma attack. In another simulation, the same thing appeared to be happening, but it turned out to be a cardiac arrest, forcing students to act quickly to save their “patient.”

Students were left mostly on their own during the simulations, while a supervisor from the program watched them through a two way mirror, and acted as the STAN model’s voice from behind the glass.

Shaw learned how to draw blood, use an IV, and sutures from a Harvard Medical School student. She also got her CPR and AED certifications from Wayne Stathopoulos, a Teaching Associate in Emergency Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Shaw also received training on how to control bleeding from Sheila Silva, a nurse practitioner at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Shaw said that she would “100% be able to help in emergency situations” thanks to her training.

The program taught students from around the world, and not just Massachusetts. Shaw said that in her group alone, there were students from California, Canada, and London.

Shaw is currently going into her junior year of high school at Portsmouth Abbey, and said that she plans to become either a nurse practitioner or physician's assistant in the future based on her positive experience with the MEDscience program.