Dublin Villager

Students give positive prognosis for medical academy


Dublin Coffman High School junior Helen Amata has been considering a future in the medical profession and thanks to the district's new Biomedical Research Academy she might have found her bailiwick.

Amata is part of a new class available to all Dublin City School high school students interested in a career in the medical field that offers speakers, field trips, research and other lessons in the field of biomedical engineering.

The new yearlong academy is held at Dublin Scioto High School from 7:55 to 10:15 a.m. each school day.

"From my perspective it's going great," Teacher Roger Rabold said of the new program.

"There are a variety of things going on all the time," he said.

"It's a long block, but the kids are always switching and doing something different."

To get into the Biomedical Research Academy, students must apply and Rabold said a few were turned away from the first year class that includes a mostly juniors and seniors with a few sophomores mixed in.

"These are high achieving, highly motivated students," he said.

So far, students have been exposed to a variety of jobs in the biomedical field.

A muscle physiologist, oncologist and medical illustrator have spoken to students, Rabold said.

A former student who is deaf talked to students to weigh in on the cochlear implant debate, he added.

"Next week we're going to Battelle for a field trip," Rabold said.

"We've got another one lined up for the (Ohio State University) nursing school and a human anatomy lab in May."

The variety of professions has made Scioto junior Darien Pepple more certain she wants to be a physician's assistant in pediatrics.

"It's more solidified that (decision)," she said.

"The (jobs) we've looked at so far I'm not interested in, but I have been interested in the activities."

One speaker was very inspiring for Amata.

"We had a medical illustrator in," she said.

"It puts art into medical things," Amata said.

"I thought that would be really cool. I really like art and there's art in this."

Dublin Jerome High School junior Keegan Graham also saw the class as an opportunity to look into his future, along with getting a required biology credit.

"I'm not sure what I want to do, but I thought it would be a good way to figure it out," he said.

"There are quite a bit of career options."

The class has been challenging, Pepple said, but it will all pay off in college.

"Since we get speakers, it gives us a wide range of experience over other kids," she said. "It gives us a lot of insight."

With positive reviews from students and a growing push in the STEM -- science, technology, engineering and math -- fields at school, Rabold is expecting a bigger demand for the academy next year.

"It's a hot topic right now: biomedical and bioengineering," he said.