News: Students learn about medical professions
Story by Sgt. Jonathan Thibault
FORT CARSON, Colo. - Laughter and smiles filled the room during a medical seminar as 13 middle school students learned about various medical professions on Fort Carson, Feb. 18-20.
Capt. Jason Auchincloss, aeromedical physician assistant, 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, hosted the children from The Colorado Springs School.
“The medical seminar is designed to introduce the middle school students to the different careers within the field of medicine,” said Auchincloss. “This is accomplished through a combination of didactic instruction and experiential learning opportunities. This seminar introduces the children to medical specialties spanning the full spectrum, from pre-hospital emergency care to postmortem specialties, and even a small portion of veterinary medicine.”
Specialties visited included cardiology, radiology, pathology, forensic medicine, orthopedics, battlefield trauma medicine, physical therapy and acupuncture.
“For me, hosting the program serves two purposes,” said Auchincloss. “First and foremost, it offers me the opportunity to mold young, inquisitive minds and provide them with a glimpse into certain aspects of the ever-changing field of medicine. Last but not least, the program helps build strong bonds within the Colorado Springs population and promotes healthy community relationships.”
School leaders said they believe the military aspect of the seminar adds a level of excitement that helps the children learn more.
“There is a certain segment of each visit that the kids really latch on to,” said Eric Gaylord, head of middle school, CSS. “The high pressure and intensity, and saving someone’s life heavily influences the children. I can easily see a quarter or a third of the children choosing to go into some type of civilian or military emergency medicine. Not to mention, the military’s facilities and instructors are awesome. The military portion of the visit was probably the most impactful education for the children.”
This was Auchincloss’ second year hosting the medical seminar for CSS at Evans Army Community Hospital.
“I have a son at the same school and was approached last year by the head of the middle school … to see if I could assist with supporting a program for the careers in medicine seminar,” said Auchincloss. “Last year’s seminar exposed the children to pre-hospital emergency care, battlefield medicine and orthopedics. This year, we have expanded our seminar to include the field of surgery, and it is my hope that this program will continue to grow in the future.”
Auchincloss said he believes the seminar influenced the children to be open to all the health professions because similar seminars helped him decide to enter the field of medicine.
“These children are the future,” he said. “In the next five to 10 years, they will be transitioning into career fields of their own, and I hope that some of them will look back on this week as they make those choices. Experiential learning seminars similar to this were instrumental in my career choices and hopefully the experiences they encounter here will stimulate a desire to care for the injured. Who knows, one of them may one day become a military health care provider.”
Teaching children about advancements and careers in the medical field is a personal passion, said Auchincloss.
“I am passionate about military medicine,” he said. “Our most precious asset is the young soldier on the battlefield, and to care for that soldier, and their family members, is truly a privilege. Being able to introduce the youth of today and the civilian community to the art of military medicine is an honor. For the students, I believe it is important for them to see the medical advances that have developed thanks to military medicine.”
CSS is thankful for the opportunity to be guests of 1st ARB, EACH and Fort Carson, said Gaylord.
“We are grateful that Jason Auchincloss provided us with the ability to tour the medical facilities on Fort Carson,” said Gaylord. “Without him, I don’t know if we could have made this happen. The children like the reality of handling the medical materials and weren’t just listening to educational lectures which can lose their attention. We would love to keep doing this indefinitely, every year, because it’s a great educational exposure to the medical field for the children.”