Return to Headlines

SEE Program Allows Students to See Themselves as Future Doctors

Students at Nationwide Children's

July 19, 2023 -- Students got to see themselves as future doctors, surgeons, and much more during the course of a four-week program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. 

The Surgical Exposure and Exploration (SEE) Program, which is in its second year, provides a way for rising high school juniors and seniors at Columbus City Schools and Cristo Rey Columbus High School to get hands-on experience and exposure to different medical careers. 

Students had to meet certain requirements including academics, completing the application process, and having an interest in a medical career. The most recent cohort, comprised of nine students, were awarded their certificates of completion in a July 10 ceremony. These students were: 

  • Mary Jalloh, Beechcroft High School 
  • Avery Watkins, Columbus Alternative High School 
  • Isly Gonzalez, Columbus Alternative High School 
  • London Grant, Marion Franklin High School 
  • Deka Doni, Columbus Alternative High School 
  • Caleb Bradshaw, Columbus Alternative High School 
  • Alyson Brown, Columbus Alternative High School 
  • Rita Diaz, Cristo Rey High School 
  • Alvina Kissi, Columbus Alternative High School 

“Our main vision is that students here get the opportunity to see themselves in a space that they wouldn’t normally see themselves,” said Dr. David Rogers, chief of the Department of Pediatric Ophthalmology. “They can immerse themselves and feel welcome here. This can be part of their journey into their medical careers.”

As part of the paid internship program, every day, Monday through Friday, students came to the hospital and learned several vital skills. They learned how to think like doctors through problem-based learning scenarios, explored different parts of daily work life through job shadowing, and saw first-hand how to do specific medical procedures in the hospital’s simulation center.

“They learned everything,” said Marcie Rehmar, director of community and patient family education for the hospital system. “They saw ultrasounds. They learned about scrubbing into surgery and how to do that. They learned about casting, splinting, and tying surgical knots. They saw many things that surgeons and medical professionals do. It gave them exposure to what those activities are like.” 

For Caleb Bradshaw, a junior at Columbus Alternative High School, the program was an enlightening experience. In the future, he hopes to be a medical researcher. 

“I always knew I wanted to go into a medical program, but this was very important to helping me understand all the aspects there are to it,” Bradshaw said. “We also got a very widespread amount of experiences as well. It was a 10 out of 10 for me.” 

Additionally, students older than 16 had at least one time when they got to be in the room to see a surgery or procedure. Students younger than 16 got to experience a clinical setting to see how a surgeon follows up with a patient after surgery or talks to a patient before a procedure. 

“My favorite part was the shadowing every Wednesday,” Bradshaw said. “It was my favorite because I’m a visual learner, and I learn by seeing and doing.” 

In the future, Rehmar envisions the cohort expanded to include ten students. Additionally, she hopes that in the third year, students can come back with the relevant certificates to work. 

“We are seeing kids come back after completing the program,” she said. “The vision is that while these kids are in school, they can get the right certificates so we can actually hire them. This is a way to give them more exposure to being in a hospital environment and getting good pay. Next year will be the first year for our third-year students, so that will be our vision.” 

Rogers said he hopes students can be excited about their potential and for this program to be one step in their medical career journey. 

“I can see them as future doctors, leaders, and educators; this is the future of medicine right here,” Rogers said. “This is what the whole program was designed to do, to get these students excited about what they can become.”  

Power of One

Priority 1 - Whole Child FocusedPriority 2 - Equitable Opportunities for AllPriority 3 - Strong Learning Communities in Every RegionPriority 4 - Authentic EngagementPortrait Attribute 1 - AdaptabilityPortrait Attribute 2 - CommunicationPortrait Attribute 3 - CreativityPortrait Attribute 4 - Critical ThinkingPortrait Attribute 5 - Global EmpathyPortrait Attribute 6 - Technology