Check. Treat. Repeat.


A group of students pose in their scrubs. Photo provided by Emily Miller.

Very few people, let alone high school students, are aware of what really goes on behind the scenes in a hospital. What is the proper technique for suturing a wound? How do you effectively stop a bleed? With these questions in particular, people naturally turn to those who have had that experience, special training, or an opportunity to learn all about it through the guidance of a medical professional at an exclusive camp!

Emily Miller (12), Amelia Kulich (12), and Jaala Stevens (12), were among a select few high school students from the Colorado Springs area that participated in the UCHealth Memorial Junior Medical School Program, affectionately known as JMS, this past summer. Their collective interest in pursuing a career in the medical field after college prompted their decision to participate in a camp at Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs.

“It [the camp] originally came out through the school counselor and I was like I might as well give it a go. I submitted my application, and I somehow got in!” said Stevens. “I was really excited because it expanded my view of the medical field.”

After an extensive interview process, an abundance of students from all over the Colorado Springs area whittled down to a mere twelve, three of whom were from Palmer Ridge High School.

“It was a group interview of about four to five of us. It was honestly a really good interview because you got a feel for all these different kinds of people and how their brain works.” said Kulich.

Camp participants practice suturing. Photo provided by Emily Miller.

For four days straight, these three students walked in the shoes of doctors and nurses, attended seminars about various career paths, and participated in medical activities that no ordinary high schooler gets the chance to do. From suturing a chicken breast or volunteering in the hospital’s stimulation lab to practice Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on a dummy, the most memorable moment chalked down to one moment in the hospital’s freezer.

“We got to see an amputated foot, and because they hyped it up so much and asked people to step out if they were going to pass out, I actually thought I was going to pass out. I was so nervous!” said Stevens.

Some students also had the unique chance to volunteer as an athletic trainer for the Rocky Mountain Vibes baseball team. Miller, who was very excited for this opportunity, could not believe the amount of time and energy the trainers put in to support the team.

“We started four hours before the game, and stayed an additional two hours after the game ended to give the players treatment.‘’ said Miller.

Through activities like these, there were many different career paths to explore, such as cardiovascular, Flight For Life, nursing, or anatomical pathology. After those four days, Miller mentioned that the opportunity truly helped her narrow down her many choices to just two.

“I think right now I want a career in radiology or pharmacy, just because those two fields look very interesting and you can do many different things.”

Stevens (12), Miller (12), and Kulich (12), pose with their chicken breasts. Photo provided by Emily Miller

As the camp came to a close, the three confirmed that their love of medicine and desire to help people only grew as they went through the camp. Whether it is in nursing, research, or as a doctor, Miller, Stevens, and Kulich are anxious for their futures, and they cannot wait to get started!