Date: 5/18/2005

Pre-med students gain valuable knowledge base at St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart

Medical students who are interested in learning more about the clinical setting will be participating in a summer volunteer program at St. Mary Medical Center. This innovative program allows pre-med students an opportunity to shadow many departments of a community-based hospital to help them make important decisions about their future medical careers.

The program is headed by Vijay Dave., M.D., director of medical education at St. Mary Medical Center, and supported by the Indiana University School of Medicine Northwest and the Northwest Indiana Area Health Education Center. Several staff physicians at St. Mary Medical Center, and clinical staff in many departments, are lending time to teach students in a clinical setting.

This year, 21 students, many who are local but attending schools all across the country, will shadow staff in lab, surgery, radiology, pathology, electrophysiology, cardiac catheterization and other areas. They also will shadow doctors doing rounds, and in private practice.

“This gives us an excellent opportunity to show our aspiring young leaders that the care we provide in the community setting here at St. Mary Medical Center is in many ways as progressive and innovative as the care at university medical centers,” Dave said. “We hope to not only guide them in their career paths, but invite them to return to their local roots and possibly set up practice here when they are ready.”

Dave has been involved with student education at various levels for more than 25 years and has been working with students at St. Mary Medical Center for more than a decade.

Opportunities for the 2005 program have expanded to include activities lead by faculty members and medical students at the School of Medicine on Indiana University’s Northwest campus. In addition, through the Northwest Indiana Area Health Education Center, students will have the opportunity to learn about science and the study of medicine in other settings. Day trips include a visit to the Lake County Coroner’s office and the Indiana State Police Crime Lab.