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Medical Exploration

Explorations in Pathology (Full Day Intensive)

Residential only  |  11th- 12th graders  |  Registration Closed

What is pathology? In partnership with the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, this program offers a unique experience exploring the multifaceted discipline of pathology, a cornerstone of modern medicine. Students will get firsthand experience with laboratory processes, organ dissection sessions, independent coursework, and mentoring by a department physician.

Students will participate in an independent project with a faculty mentor in pathology and laboratory medicine culminating in a video and poster presentation. Students may participate in fieldtrips to off-site locations to enhance their understanding of pathology.

Anatomic Pathology (AP): AP focuses on the diagnosis and study of disease through macroscopic and microscopic examination of tissue specimens. Subspecialty areas of AP include surgical pathology, cytopathology, neuropathology and autopsy/forensic pathology. Students in the program will be introduced to a variety of subspecialties within AP through didactic lectures, case-based presentations, hands-on examination of formalin- preserved human organs, and ‘at-the-microscope’ teaching sessions examining glass slides of normal tissue and disease processes.

Clinical Pathology/Laboratory Medicine (CP/LM): Laboratory divisions of CP/LM include hematopathology, clinical chemistry and toxicology, microbiology, molecular diagnostics, cytogenetics, and blood bank (transfusion medicine). Students will be introduced to a variety of sub-specialties within CP/LM through didactic lectures, case-based presentations, tours of CP/LM laboratories within Strong Memorial Hospital, and hands-on simulations.

Outline and structure are subject to change at the discretion of the professors.

Enrollment is limited to 10 students; selection to the program is competitive.


Instructors and mentors are from Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center Faculty:

  • Jennifer Findeis-Hosey, MD (Course Director)
  • Linda Callahan, MD
  • Aaron Huber, DO
  • Bruce Smoller, MD
  • Bradley Turner, MD, MPH, MHA
  • Diana Agostini-Vulaj, DO

Mini Medical School (Full Day Intensive)

Residential only  |  11th- 12th graders  |  Registration closed

This unique and selective program is open to students interested in pursuing careers in medicine. Through rigorous academic immersion, you will gain firsthand experience with practical hands-on intervention, research, public health, and service learning. Do you have what it takes to find out what medical school is all about?

Anatomy and Physiology: Introduce students to anatomy through models and human organs (plastinated and embalmed organs). Topics include anatomy and physiology of the heart, and respiratory, muscular, and nervous systems.

Neurology/Psychiatry: Designed to give students an understanding of the structure and function of the brain. Students will gain insight into the brain through dissection and prosection, while learning about various psychiatric disorders from experts working and researching in the field. Topics in neurology and psychology include anatomy, and psychology of the brain.

Public Health: Designed to introduce students to public health history, concepts, and contemporary issues, students will research a current public health topic and present at a culmination poster session. Topics may include disparities (health and wealth, social justice), current issues in public health (lead poisoning, tobacco, obesity, clean water/air, health systems/reforms), and global health issues (globalization and development, maternal/child health).

Other Activities: Outside of the classroom, student’s days are full of hands-on opportunities to learn more about medicine. Opportunities vary year to year, but have previously included: Standardized Patient Session, Learning to Take Vital Signs, NARCAN Training, Suture Session, Taping and Casting, Simulation Exercises (Cardiac, OB/GYN, Intubations, Phlebotomy), ED Rotation, shadowing a Physician, Wilderness Medicine, Stop the Bleed Training, Ambulance Rides, and an optional CPR Training.

Outline and structure are subject to change at the discretion of the professors and medical professionals who instruct various aspects of the course.

Enrollment is limited to 12 students; selection for this program is competitive.


Instructors are University of Rochester Medical Center Faculty:

  • Renee Miller, PhD
  • Theresa Green, PhD
  • Dr. Sergiy Nadtochiy, PhD

What’s up Doc: Exploring the Pre-Med Experience

9-12th graders  |  Registration Closed

What’s it like to be a physician? What does it take to become a doctor? Meet with practicing physicians, medical students, and other experts. Explore hands-on medical procedures, examine equipment, and discuss medical ethics and the role of the physician. Learn what it takes, academically, to prepare for medical school, and how to decide if medicine is the right path for you. Examine the current pros and cons of being a doctor.

Instructors: University of Rochester Medical Center Faculty

Mysteries of the Brain and Human Behavior: Psychology’s Understanding of Deviance

9-12th graders  |  Registration Closed

If you’ve ever wondered about how human development can ‘go wrong’ – in the brain, in our personality, or in our behavior — then this might be the right class for you. Contemporary psychology includes the study of yet-unsolved mysteries of the brain and human behavior.

Despite the research efforts in fields of study including neuroscience, and forensic, developmental, abnormal, and social psychology, society still grapples with understanding those things we categorize as ‘deviance’ from normal – such as disability, criminality, and mental illness. In this class, you can expect to get a brief introduction to the various ways in which researchers have sought to understand disability, criminality, and trauma from an abnormal and social psychology perspective; and the goal is to challenge your thinking about human differences in ways that you might not have considered before.

We will learn about and discuss controversial and even mysterious psychological phenomena such as:

  • What causes a witness to stand by and watch an old woman being robbed, but do nothing to intervene?
  • Did lobotomies actually work – and is modern medicine really better at treating mental illness than everything that came before it?
  • What are personality disorders?
  • How can we know so much and yet so little about disabilities such as autism?
  • How does fear influence groups of people to do egregious things, like burn women at the stake or be complicit in the Holocaust?
  • How do our traumatic experiences change the brain?
  • Can our brains really ‘play tricks’ on the way we perceive or experience something?
  • How do we define what’s normal, and how can disability studies shift that perspective?
  • In what ways does a brain injury change someone’s personality, leaving them with lifelong cognitive challenges that even neuroscientists can’t explain?
  • What theories have been used to explain criminal behavior and the personalities of people who become murderers?

Instructor: Jennifer Wick, PhD candidate, Warner School of Education

Careers in Oral Health

9-12th graders  |  Registration Closed

What is it like to be a dentist or a dental specialist such as an orthodontist, pediatric dentist, prosthodontist, periodontist, or oral surgeon? This course will explore hands-on dental procedures, examine the latest equipment, and take a close look at the skills and educational requirements necessary to become an oral health professional. Students will learn firsthand how to conduct an oral examination and to make diagnostic plaster models of teeth for use in treatment planning. Students will meet with dentists who are pursuing careers as faculty in educational programs and with researchers working in the basic sciences or translational arenas. Dental specialists working in diverse and emerging areas of treatment, including dental implants and cosmetic dentistry, will interact with the students. There will be site visits taken to the ambulatory care dental unit and the Center for Oral Biology at the University’s Medical Center. The course will focus on the changing field of oral health and the high demands for dentists to meet the oral health care needs of local, national, and international patient populations.

Instructor: Pamela Booth, instructor, Eastman Institute for Oral Health

Careers in Nursing

9-12th graders  |  Registration Closed

Nursing is the largest workforce in the health care setting. The roles that nurses fulfill in the hospital, public health, research, and advanced practice are vital to the success of a patient’s health.

This course will show you what it takes to be a nurse. With engaging discussions and interactive exercises, you will learn about the profession’s foundations and specialties, the history and future of nursing, and potential careers that might interest you.

Whether you are interested in clinical research or patient care, come explore if nursing is for you.

Instructor: Dee Dee Rutigliano, RN, faculty, School of Nursing

Biomedical Technology: Engineer, Doctor, or Both?

9-12th graders  |  Registration Closed

This course teaches you the underlying physiology of crucial human organ systems and the process of recording the biological signals that dictate how they perform. You will learn about vital signs like blood pressure, heart rate, and electrical signals produced by the muscles and heart. You will also learn to interpret and integrate these signals with biological processes and diseases.

Instructor: Kanika Vats, assistant professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering

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