HMS MEDscience is a full semester, credit bearing advanced biology course with an a standards aligned curriculum which connects classroom lessons in human biology with real-life lessons on the scientific foundations of medical care. Classroom study occurs four hours a week at the high school following the organ system curriculum then for one hour a week students participate in hands-on work at an affiliated medical simulation center or hospital. Each week of classroom education also includes a session at a hospital or medical school simulation center. Simulation centers use technology to allow students to practice tasks and processes in lifelike circumstances using models or virtual reality. These applied learning experiences bring science to life for students and captures the imagination. The cornerstone of our program is the use of a simulator called “STAN,” a lifelike mannequin that acts as the patient and the focus of the teaching of the biological systems. STAN is a computer controlled, adult mannequin that breathes, has a pulse and blood pressure, heart tones, breath sounds and bowel sounds. Participants interact with the patient by carrying on a two-way conversation, taking a medical history and evaluating physical exam findings.
Technology is at the center of the students’ learning in our program. At Harvard Medical School and the area teaching hospitals, students are exposed to the state of art technologies, and use the latest training devices that doctors and nurses use to develop technical skills in order to develop their knowledge of biology. We have established strong partnerships with Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, and Tufts Medical Center to provide in-hospital clinical experiences for our students.