Making it relevent: CMR offers Med Prep Academy for first year

Jen Verzuh

Taking field trips isn’t a typical part of the English curriculum, but that’s exactly what Rene Cleveland recently did with her students. 

On Sept. 19 Cleveland took her sophomore medical English students to Rainbow Senior Living Center, where “they were interviewing seniors as a little primary research on how medicine has changed.”

When Cleveland heard that the school needed teachers for the new medical-based English, she jumped at the opportunity despite having no medical background.

“I have interest in some of the medical controversies out there, and I also think a lot of the themes in medicine relate well to English,” Cleveland said. “It’s all about human connection, things like compassion and ethics.”

This is the first year CMR has offered the Med Prep Academy, which offers medical English and history classes in addition to medical classes such as Intro to Health Occupations and Human Body Systems. On the sophomore level, students in both Intro to Health Occupations as well as medical English get dual credit for certain assignments.

“It’s medical but it also ties into the English curriculum,” Cleveland said. “[We] do all the same skills but put a medical spin on it to interest students interested in that field. We’re doing something to make school more relevant.”

Jamie McGraw, a medical English teacher for juniors nd seniors, is also interested in having her students talk to actual sources from the community in regards to the changes in medicine over time.

“[I] would like to bring in a physician who’s been practicing for the last 30 years to talk about the changes in medicine,” McGraw said.

McGraw herself was at one point interested in pursuing a medical career, spending the first three years of her college experience majoring in premed. She said she was eager to be a part of the program because “I knew that I would get to work with motivated teachers and students and that was a draw for me.”

Junior Maddie Hazelip is one such student. She previously took Intro to Health Occupations and in addition to taking medical English with Cleveland she is in medical U.S. History taught by Burke Allen, Athletic Training and Human Body Systems. Currently, she is interested in pursuing a career as surgeon.

“Just a few assignments are different to learn about the medical field,” Hazelip said of medical English and U.S. History class. “If you’re interested in medical careers than you’re more determined to work hard in that class.”

Another new class the Med Prep Academy is offering is Med Prep Senior Project. Senior Claire Bebee is currently enrolled in the class, taught by McGraw. She is planning on becoming a physician’s assistant who specializes in sports medicine. Besides Med Prep Senior Project, Bebee is in Advanced Health Science, which will line up an internship for her with a physician’s assistant, and that internship will be what her Senior research project will focus on.

“I love med prep,”Bebee said. “It’s a good idea to be in (it) if you’re interested in a medical career.”

McGraw agrees.

“The content is geared towards something they’re interested (in) and hopefully the more relevant the material the more geared they will be to learn it.”