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

ed Martha Gulati, MD, cardiologist and associate director of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute's Center for Women's Cardiovascular Health, who is leading the program. "We hope to reach young women at an early age to inspire them and open their minds to the science and art of medicine and cardiology. Since heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in this country, the program also serves as an important reminder of why it's important to maintain good heart health throughout life."

The curriculum of the Young Women's Leadership Academy has a specific focus on math, science and technology. "We developed this program to help foster the academic and career pursuits of high school girls interested in science and medicine, and to show them real life examples of career paths they might consider," said Megan Faurot, director of Education Programs, including WHSP, for the Feinberg School of Medicine's Institute for Women's Health Research. The CSA was funded in part by a grant from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The program requires that the girls learn and apply science concepts and inquiry skills by doing hands-on laboratory and clinical activities, such as dissections, cardiac surgery observation, participation in lectures on heart disease and heart disease prevention. Another bonus of the program is that all of the girls will become trained and certified to perform cardio pulmonary resuscitation or CPR. They'll also learn basic anatomy and physiology of the cardiovascular system and will participate in workshops and discussions about public health topics.

In addition to learning about various healthcare careers, a goal of the CSA is to educate the students about their own heart health. The school's student population is primarily African American and Hispanic, two demographics, according to the American Heart Association, where women have a greater risk for developing heart disease compared
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SOURCE Northwestern Memorial Hospital
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