Keeping Talent in Central Illinois

It’s no secret that there’s a looming shortage of physicians, specialists and other clinicians predicted in the near future. The Association of American Medical Colleges estimates the U.S could see a deficit of up to 104,900 physicians by 2030.  The question becomes, what are medical schools and health care systems doing about it? Jump Simulation, a part of OSF Innovation and a collaboration with University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria, is hoping to bridge this gap locally by attracting youth to the industry early by offering various Science, Technology, Engineering and Math camps focused on medicine.

Pre-med immersion simulationBeyond that, Jump Sim launched a pilot program this year giving collegiate students interested in health care a medical school experience. The Pre-Med Immersion Course is a two-week program filled with medical simulation, lecture and clinical shadowing that gives participants a better idea of what medical school entails and what it’s like to be a clinician in a busy health care setting.

It’s our collective intent to increase awareness of UICOMP and its affiliation with our world-class simulation center with a shared interest in recruiting high-quality candidates to the region. The hope is that these students will study here, continue on with their residencies and eventually become OSF HealthCare Mission Partners in the future.

An Immersive Experience

Seven undergraduate students participated in our inaugural Pre-Med Immersion program with the goal of getting a leg up in applying for medical school. It was also an opportunity for them to discover if medicine is what they want to do for the rest of their lives.

Participants of this pilot had the opportunity to shadow a variety of clinical educators in the hospital and in out-patient clinics for a week. The students also spent time learning techniques they will be introduced to in medical school. This includes suturing, experiencing virtual reality technologies, assisting in a simulated surgery, responding to simulated patients in distress and receiving their Basic Life Support certification.

The two-week course ended with a day’s worth of testing that included reviving a patient, solving medical cases and stitching a variety of wounds. Greta Berger is a senior biology major at Knox College in Galesburg. She says she received an experience she didn’t think was possible without actually being in medical school.

“This program has been outstanding,” said Berger. “It’s so immersive and hands-on. These two weeks have proven to me that my passion is medicine.”

The Minnesota native says she plans to apply for medical school in Peoria. That’s the exact response we want to receive as this program evolves. We want to foster a connectivity to not only residents of central Illinois but those who choose to go to school in the region. We want them to understand there’s an opportunity to stay and work here in a one-of-a-kind environment.

pre-med immersion surgeryA majority of the students who participated in the pilot Immersion program came from Knox College. Each of the students received a certificate of completion from OSF HealthCare, Jump Sim and UICOMP as well as documented evaluations from clinical educators that the participants can use for the medical school application process.

What’s Next?

We believe we’ve developed a really great program, but we want it to be the best in the world. We will collect feedback from the inaugural class to find out whether any adjustments should be made to attract a larger class next year. It’s our intent to expand the course to 24 students.

To attract the best and brightest students in central Illinois, the program will be targeted to students within a 100-mile radius. This piggybacks off our continued efforts to grow the talent pool in the region and down the line have a positive impact on health care access in our communities.

You can learn more about the various ways Jump Sim is working to cultivate STEM talent by visiting our website.

Categories: Careers, Community, Education, Education, Medical Students, Pre-Med Immersion