Learning What It Takes to Be a Surgeon

The summer Pre-Med Immersion Course at the Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center gives undergraduate students interested in medicine a taste of what medical school is like. Jump, a part of OSF Innovation and a collaboration with the University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria (UICOMP), is narrowing the focus of the program this winter to give college students the chance to take a deeper dive into surgery.

Developed by the Director of Surgical Simulation, Dr. Richard Pearl, and Anatomical Coordinator at Jump, Shannon Egli, the week-long course provides hands-on training in a variety of surgical specialties including trauma, cardiovascular, OBGYN, neurology and pathology.

“Participants won’t just be observing surgeries in action,” said Egli. “They will get the chance to interact with the human body, feel what it’s like to be a surgeon and be part of the surgical team before they consider applying for health science or medical school.”

At the same time, students will gain clinical and professional skills and understand the importance of patient information safety. The goal of the course is to enhance preparation for medical school and recruit high-quality candidates to the region.

Getting Your Hands Dirty  

From the very beginning of the course, students will learn the basics of surgery, how to scrub into an operation and learn how to do basic suturing and knot tying. Each day will feature a different surgical specialty. Participants will shadow surgeons in a real operating room and then they will come back to the anatomical lab at Jump where they will perform surgical procedures on a cadaver.

“To make the experience as realistic as possible, we will put the body on a ventilator and use a mechanical pump to push artificial blood through with the ability to adjust the heart rate and blood pressure,” said Egli. “Students will feel what it’s like to operate on a live human being without putting anyone in harm’s way.”

Some experiences learners will be part of include working with an emergency medicine surgeon to intubate a specimen, helping a cardiac surgeon open a chest to work on the heart and assisting neurosurgeons as they do a craniotomy and a laminectomy to get a better look at the spinal cord. Participants will also visit the morgue and work with a neuropathologist as they look at brain specimens that have had extraordinary circumstances.

The week ends with week in review and an informal ceremony where participants will receive certificates of completion from UICOMP and documented evaluations from clinical educators that can be used for the medical school application process.

A Unique Opportunity

The Pre-Med Immersion program that’s two weeks in the summer and one week in the winter is for undergraduate students who are already on a path towards medical school and want to experience what medical school will be like. Students are hands-on and treated like medical students.

With the help of caring donors, Jump is for the first time offering scholarships for those who want to participate in both the summer and winter courses. You can learn more, register and apply for our Pre-Med Immersion programs at  
Categories: Anatomic Specimens, Cadaveric Specimen, Cardiovascular, Clinical Simulation, Education, Education, Emergency Medicine, Events, Medical Students, Pre-Med Immersion, STEM, Surgery