Dr. David R. Norris, B.S. 2003, recently taught Millsaps College students studying human physiology to apply some of what they have learned.
A family physician at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Norris distributed reflex hammers, pen lights, and tuning forks and showed students how to use the instruments as part of a neurological exam of a patient, who might be suffering from a stroke, nerve injury or hearing loss.
Dr. David R. Norris, B.S. 2003, speaks to Millsaps pre-health students
Learn more about pre-health programs at Millasps
Margaret Thomas, a senior from Hattiesburg who is applying to medical school, and Allison Eason, a student from Sebastopol who is completing the pre-requisites necessary to apply to pharmacy school, took turns testing each other's reflexes.
"It's exciting when you get to experience a clinical correlation," Thomas said. "It brings to life what you're studying."
Norris, who said being back in a classroom at Millsaps was "like being at home," said his goal was to give students real life reasons for their studies.
"Learning practical applications for what you're studying can be useful," he said. "It helps you make sense of what you're studying."
Norris' visit is just one example of how pre-health education at Millsaps College means more than lectures and labs, said Dr. Naila M. Mamoon, Pre-health director and assistant professor of biology. Last spring, pre-health students conducted blood pressure checks and diabetes screenings during a health fair that was part of the College's annual 1 Campus1 Community block party, working side by side with volunteers from the University of Mississippi School of Nursing, UNACARE, the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry and Midtown Partners. A few weeks later, at a health fair organized for the local Hispanic community, students helped complete paperwork for a group of people who only communicated in Spanish.
Mamoon and members of the Pre-Health Committee regularly arrange for students to meet guests from the health-care community as part of the "Career Explorations in Pre-health Seminar Series."
The series brought to campus Dr. Marvin Wilson, associate dean of admissions and dean of students at the University Of Mississippi School Of Pharmacy. He discussed entrance requirements for the pharmacy school and the expanded role of pharmacists in contemporary health care delivery.
Also as part of the series, Tonya Nations, director of the Career Center at Millsaps, led two interview skills workshop for pre-health students. Interview skills come into play when a student is applying to medical, dental and other health professions schools.
"We want our students to develop into well-rounded adults who have all the skills and qualities essential for success as health care professionals, who engage with their community both within Millsaps and without, and are deeply committed to serving others. We also want them to be the most competitive candidates they can be when they apply to medical or dental or other health professional schools," Mamoon said.