SUMR 16 At College of Physicians and Mutter Museum

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SUMR 16 At College of Physicians and Mutter Museum

Networking With Karabots Junior Fellows
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Each year, the University of Pennsylvania's LDI Summer Undergraduate Minority Research (SUMR) scholars and the College of Physicians of Philadephia's Karabots Junior Fellows meet for a day to discuss potential careers in health care. The SUMR students are college undergrads and the Karabots students are high school students from underrepresented communities. The programs of both groups immerse them in health care-related experiences and curricula aimed at preparing them for further studies in the field. Here in the College of Physicians conference room are (l to r) Karabots Junior Fellow Lashaya Little of Paul Robeson High School; SUMR Scholars Ian Jeong of Penn, Gabriela Esnaola of Yale, and Christopher Koilor of Pennsylvania State University; and Karabots Junior Fellows Jacob Ortiz of Roman Catholic High School, and Vashon Chapman of George Washington Carver High School.
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Headquartered in a 107-year-old building modeled after London's Royal College of Physicians, the Philadelphia College of Physicians' structure is an opulent sprawl of Beaux-Arts architecture. The first landing of the main marble staircase (above, left) features a statue of the Greek god of medicine, Asclepius, complete with serpent wrapped staff -- the "caduceus" that remains the symbol of medical services to this day. The College's Director of the Karabots Program, Jacqui Bowman leads the SUMR scholars on a tour of the building. Above, right, are just some of the peculiar Victorian-era medical exhibits that make the College's Mütter such an strange and interesting place.
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In one of several bottom floor galleries (above, left) of the two-story museum, SUMR Scholar John Fitz-Henley of Dartmouth College (kneeling down) studies a display of giant and dwarf skeletons. The Mütter, with its collections of Victorian-era medical oddities displayed in ornate cases, is a trip back to a time when physical museum displays -- rather than interactive computer images -- were a key tool in the education of physicians. Above, right, in a gallery of skull photos by LA-based photographer David Orr, are (l to r) SUMR Program Coordinator Safa Browne and SUMR Scholars Kehinde Oyekanmi of Temple University, Nada Boualam of Penn, Ana Bonilla Martinez of Rutgers University, Sophia Anderson of the College of Wooster, Joseph Pecha of the University of Dallas, Ian Jeong, John Fitz-Henley, and Gabriela Esnaola.
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Perusing the skeleton displays are Penn undergrads and SUMR Scholars Ian Jeong and Nada Boualam (above, left). In another Mütter gallery of surgical teaching displays from a previous century (above, right) is SUMR Scholar Ana Bonilla Martinez.
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The day's activities included a tour of the Mütter led by Karabots Junior Scholars who explained the various exhibits. Above, left at a specimen case are SUMR Scholars Ana Bonilla Martinez and Nada Boualam; Karabots Junior Fellows Tiná To of the Academy at Palumbo and Helen Jiang of Central High School; and SUMR Scholars Kehinde Oyekanmi, Sophia Anderson, and John Fitz-Henley. Above, right, Karabots Junior Fellow Morgan Shinners of the Science Leadership Academy at Beeber is the docent at the shrunken head collection. The heads were collected from South American tribes early in the 20th century.
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The "Broken Bodies, Suffering Spirits" gallery focuses on battlefield medicine of the Civil War. One exhibit case contains actual bones (above, left), with bullets still embedded in them. They were gathered and preserved by Union Army surgeons as teaching tools. Above, right, Safa Browne stands in another part of the exhibit featuring a huge blow up of an 1865 glass plate photo of Union Army gravediggers recovering bodies from shallow graves near the site of the Battle of Cold Harbor outside Richmond, Va.
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SUMR Scholars Joseph Pecha and Sophia Anderson (above, left) lean in close to study one of the Mütter's many peculiar displays: the Chevalier Jackson collection of swallowed objects. The collection includes thousands of the buttons, safety pins, coins, toys, nails, screws and other items he retrieved from inside patients' bodies. Above, right, SUMR Scholar Christopher Koilor amidst the museum's Hyrtl Collection of 19th century skulls.
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Beyond the museum, the SUMR and Karabots students met for pizza and discussions in the College of Physicians' conference room (above, left). Among the Karabots Junior fellows at that table were (above, right) Tiná To, Sheila Nalwoga of the WB Saul High School, Helen Jiang, and Hanaa Belgrave of Philadelphia High School for Girls.
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Gathered on the central staircase of the historic College of Physicians' building are the 2016 SUMR Scholars, the 2016 Karabots Junior Fellows and those programs' staffers.