Harrisites share experiences from the Sophie Davis Health Professions mentorship program

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Students took part in a medical training summer opportunity.

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Although Townsend Harris High School is known for its humanities focus, numerous students want to take part in STEM programs and pursue STEM careers. This summer, several  Harrisites explored their interests by participating in various medical internships and opportunities, including the Sophie Davis Health Professions Mentorship (HPMP) at CUNY School of Medicine. In total, seven THHS students enrolled in this year’s program—five juniors and two seniors.  

HPMP shows students what it is like to work as a medical student and health professional. It is suited for students who plan to one day join the medical field, like Junior Iyad Elbouani and Senior Pierre Marbid.   

Iyad, a first year HPMP student, said, “From what I knew, this program would provide insight into different aspects of the medical field as well as help [develop my] individual and collaborative skills in solving medical issues.” 

Pierre, a second year HPMP student, said, “Growing up with my mother, who is a respiratory therapist, as well as with many of my aunts and uncles who are registered nurses, I have always been passionate about the medical field and aspire to become a doctor in the future.”

The program spans two consecutive years and starts in junior year. Within each term, students take 4-week summer classes in July and once-a-month Saturday classes throughout the academic year. 

The summer portion of both years in the program consists of a group presentation with mentors, though the content of the  presentations varies. According to Iyad, during the first year’s summer session, students presented a “community health based project,” and, according to Pierre, in the second year students presented “a research presentation on any medical topic.” 

The monthly Saturday sessions consist of various activities, projects, and lectures. Pierre said that they are usually about “different organ systems, clinical cases, healthcare professions, and the college admissions process.” Along with informational features on college admissions, Saturday sessions also offer standardized test preparation. Pierre said, “we have done prep for the SAT/ACT, conducted mock interviews, listened to a panel of healthcare professionals of different specialties, gained knowledge and advice for admission into the Sophie Davis BS/MD program, and many more useful activities.”

The participants describe the Sophie Davis Health Professions Mentorship as a positive, productive, and worthwhile experience. 

Iyad said, “Not only did I learn [new] things about the medical field… but I connected with some medical students who can guide me in the future.”

 Pierre said that his decision to join the program, “has proven itself to be both extremely rewarding and invaluable.”

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