Every summer high school students in Arkansas have put on surgical scrubs or lab coats at Area Health Education Centers (AHECs), the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), and community hospitals in order to learn more about health careers. The Medical Application of Science for Health program, or M*A*S*H, has exposed high school students to the many careers available in the fields of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, and allied health.

The M*A*S*H Program was created by faculty at AHEC Pine Bluff in 1988. Through a variety of experiences, the students interact with health care experts, such as physicians, nurses, medical technologists, radiologic technologists, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, and dietitians. Each professional provides students with practical information concerning basic scientific theories relative to their fields.

This year’s MASH camps will take place at Mercy Fort Smith, Sparks Fort Smith, and Sparks Van Buren. During the two weeks, students will take part in the following activities: CPR training and certification, maneuver through the heart while a surgeon directs their dissection, shadow seven departments in a local medical facilities including surgery and the ER, receive education about personal choices such as Nutrition, Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Organ Donation and more, and tour UAMS campus in Little Rock

Students must possess a minimum GPA of 2.75, have completed Biology, and commit to attending the full two weeks to apply for this program. Students are chosen based on academics, extra-curricular activities, community involvement, teacher recommendations, personal essay, and work ethic. They must demonstrate scholastic ability, show a desire to become a team player, and express interest in pursuing a career in the medical field. All details are found on the application. Applications can be picked up in the counselor’s office. Completed applications are due no later than Tuesday, March 15, 2016 and can be submitted by fax, mail, or hand delivery.

This camp is provided free of charge to these students thanks to the support of Farm Bureau, Sparks Health Systems, Mercy Hospital, UAMS West, as well as the partnerships with area healthcare organizations. For more information about MASH, contact Monique Forehand, UAMS West MASH Coordinator atmlforehand@uams.edu or call 479-424-3181.