Alcorn student April Whitehead completes summer program at Duke University

Alcorn State University sophomore and Port Gibson, Mississippi native April Whitehead made a significant stride in her college journey during her summer vacation.

Whitehead participated in the six week Summer Medical and Dental Education Program at Duke University’s School of Medicine. The program’s goal is to address health disparities through increasing participation in medicine, biomedical sciences and the health care professions by underrepresented minority students, students from underserved communities, and students who aspire to provide health care in underserved communities. The program is a national component of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which is the nation’s largest philanthropic organization that’s dedicated solely to health.

While there, Whitehead learned valuable lessons that will help her matriculate through college.

“The experience I acquired at Duke University was a once in a lifetime experience,” said Whitehead. “I learned a lot of things like time management, patience and good study techniques.”

Whitehead chronicled some of the day-to-day activities she was involved in while attending the program.

“During my six week experience, I lived the life of a medical school student. I went from working in a rigorous academic setting during the day to shadowing an attending physician at night. I was able to witness a caesarean section, cardiac arrest, severe trauma cases and more.”

Whitehead exited the program with the courage to put more effort toward her dream of becoming a doctor.

“I was able to acquire insight from professionals about their medical experiences. Because of the program at Duke, I have the motivation to keep striving for a career in medicine.”

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