Sophomores behind the pharmacy desk, nurses describing aches and pains, students giggling and enjoying the machines of the physical therapy room — this could only be describing the Student Health Mock Clinic night.
“We do it every year, but this is only our second time,” said Michelle Hendricks, director of Thielen Student Health Center. “We are building the tradition. The turnout this time was even better than the first time, so I think the staff that participated the first time have talked really well of the experience.”
Pre-medicine, pre-pharmacy and pre-physical therapy students were invited to the Student Health Center for dinner, discussion, and tours of their related field of study.
“We know how important [the Mock Clinic] is for students who are interested in pursuing a professional school after they graduate from Iowa State. They have so many experiences [because] they’re trying to build their resume so that they can be competitive for getting into professional schools,” Hendricks said.
Students were first split into groups of physician, pharmacy or physical therapy based off their interest. There, they ate dinner with a staff member from student health in the corresponding field and were able to ask questions and have an open discussion.
“We think [the Mock Clinic] can really help provide a meaningful experience for them," Hendricks said. "The interaction with professionals in the fields that they’re looking at for their professional work is an opportunity to ask more, specifically what was their path, what did they love, what was unexpected, some of that kind of stuff which I think can be really helpful to them."
In the physician’s group, nurses acted as patients coming into the student health center so that other nurses and doctors could show a typical run-down of questions and procedures with a patient.
Physical therapy students had a chance to see some of the different machines and techniques that the staff at the student health center use on a regular basis. Pharmacy students were taught about over-the-counter and prescription medicines.
“It’s a little insight into student health as a health care niche; that’s another cool opportunity that we like to build,” Hendricks said. “I love student health. I think it’s an area of practice that a lot of upcoming professionals might not have thought about as a unique practice specialty area. This is a chance to let them get exposure to that.”
Hendricks was very pleased with the turn out for the second Mock Clinic night. Almost 60 students came to the event. Students were also very pleased with the experience and glad that they had the chance to attend the event.
“I’m really glad [I came]. It confirmed that physical therapy is what I want to go into. It was cool to see all the aspects of it,” said Audrianne Freeman, sophomore in agricultural biochemistry.