LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – High school students, some coming from rural towns with a population less than 800 people, are spending their summer vacation in emergency rooms and doctors offices all across the state of Arkansas.
The two-week program called “MASH” camp – stands for Medical Applications of Science for Health and allows the students to work side by side with medical professionals.
Amber Marshall, the Statewide Pre-Health Program Coordinator for UAMS Regional Programs, says MASH gives students interested in the medical field a real-life hands-on experience.
“The point of MASH is to expose them to the health care opportunities that are available in their home towns to show them that great careers in medicine are available right where they are,” says Marshall.
“They don’t have to come to a bigger city to find opportunities in health care because the job market is good.”
Dutton Day, is from a White Hall, Arkansans, a rural town neighboring Pine Bluff.
He says MASH changed the way he views not only his personal life but his future.
“I never thought opportunities like this would ever be available for me,” says Day. “Coming to MASH showed me that professions like this where not only for the elite or wealthy but for people like me.”
Day hopes to become a dentist one day and says it is the connections he made in the program that has encouraged him to continue pursuing his dreams.
“Everyone here has been very supportive and I am thankful for that,” says Day. “I just hope to be an inspiration for the future generation and show them that your dreams can come true – just need to keep working towards those goals.”
Day currently attends Mississippi State and has returned to MASH now as a volunteer helping high school students involved in the program.