11:38 AM

Ohio State program offers local leaders a day in the life of a medical student

In a hospital room on the campus of The Ohio State University, members of Columbus City Council, the Franklin County Commissioners and area health care experts are belting out “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees.

In addition to its place as a pop masterpiece, the iconic disco theme is set to the perfect beat for performing CPR. And Councilman Michael Stinziano is performing CPR on a medical mannequin at a pace that would make Barry Gibb proud.

“I think it’s always invaluable to have the opportunity to learn not just from power points or spreadsheets but actually, physically interact with the elements a medical student goes through,” Stinziano said.

Stinziano, Councilwoman Elizabeth Brown and County Commissioner Marilyn Brown joined local government health leaders at Ohio State’s Clinical Skills Education and Assessment Center Friday morning to get an inside look at the path to becoming a doctor. The half-day experience was part of Ohio State’s participation in Project Medical Education.

Developed by the Association of American Medical Colleges, Project Medical Education is designed to offer policymakers a hands-on experience to better understand medical education, patient care and medical research.

Dean of the College of Medicine Dr. K. Craig Kent spoke to the class about what it takes to get admitted to the university’s medical school. Kent noted that applicants’ medical exam scores must be in the 90th percentile.

“That’s just the price to get interviewed,” Kent said.

Kent noted the university’s critical role in the state’s health care. He said Ohio State teaches many of the doctors that end up serving in the neighborhoods and communities the commission and council represent.

“We want to take care of the community. We take care of a group of patients that aren’t cared for by others in the community. We’re very serious about that care,” he said.

Participants in Project Medical Education were walked through the life of a medical student. One discussion focused on the debt medical students incur before they begin their careers. For Ohio State students the average is about $167,000 per student – below the national average of $172,000 per student.

The city and county leaders participated in a traditional white coat ceremony and recited the medical oath. And after a crash course, they practiced laparoscopic surgeries and colonoscopies on simulators.

A trip to a detailed replica of a hospital room led to the life-saving effort on the medical mannequin.

“I learned quite a bit today about the whole process,” Marilyn Brown said. “Especially as it relates to technology and how [Ohio State] trains new doctors.”

Brown said she wants to investigate new opportunities for the county’s health services to interact with Ohio State medical efforts. Stinziano said the city and university already have an excellent partnership, but there are always ways to better serve the city’s more than 300 neighborhoods.

“I thought it was a wonderful experience,” Stinziano said.