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Teens as Cardiologists in Training: Program Swaps Backpacks for Stethoscopes
Date:6/15/2009

Experts from Northwestern Memorial's Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute open their doors to expose young women to careers in heart medicine and surgery

CHICAGO, June 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Victoria Horsley is like most teenaged girls looking forward to their senior year of high school. Though for her, learning the intricacies of the human heart as part of the Cardiology Summer Academy (CSA) at Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute will rank high along with going to prom as one of her favorite senior-year milestones. Horsley is one of 16 returning seniors, from the Young Women's Leadership Academy Charter School of Chicago, selected for the inaugural program's week-long camp.

"I was really intrigued by this program because I've known for a while that I want to be a doctor," says the 16-year-old who brims with excitement about being a part of the program. "When I found out that we would be doing so many hands-on activities, I was even more excited about going, and I was really happy when I found out I was chosen to attend."

Recent statistics from the National Science Foundation show that women make up 44 percent of the U.S. labor force, yet only 26 percent of the nation's scientists and engineers. In an effort to entice more girls to choose careers in medicine and science -- one student at a time -- the Institute for Women's Health Research at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine has created the Women's Health Science Program (WHSP), and this is the first summer they've partnered with the Bluhm Institute to offer the CSA. The program is led by Northwestern physicians and researchers who will immerse the young women in a medical school-like environment to help them learn about heart disease treatment and prevention.

"Many times a career path is shaped when someone takes a specific interest in an individual," comment
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SOURCE Northwestern Memorial Hospital
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