Mon. Dec 11th, 2023
    Inspiring a New Generation of Healthcare Professionals

    Mustafa Qaiser, a 5th-grade student at Wicomico County Public Schools, is one of many students participating in the innovative ‘Thinking and Doing’ (T.A.D) program. This program, designed for Gifted and Talented students in grades 3rd-5th, offers advanced instruction and immersive fieldtrip experiences. The latest unit, ‘Medical Marvels,’ is giving students like Qaiser an exciting glimpse into the world of healthcare.

    Through T.A.D’s partnership with Salisbury University’s Richard A. Henson Medical Simulation Center, students are gaining access to state-of-the-art technology and hands-on learning opportunities. The center, spanning 10,000 square feet, boasts high-tech equipment and lifelike robotic mannequins. By exposing students to these resources early on, the hope is to ignite a passion for STEM and nurture a future pipeline of healthcare professionals.

    The instructors at T.A.D recognize the importance of differentiation for Gifted and Talented students. They believe that working with real professionals allows students to explore potential career paths and understand the opportunities available to them. Kristen Briggs, a T.A.D instructor, explains that the program aims to provide valuable experiences while opening students’ eyes to new possibilities.

    For many students, like Qaiser, this program has been transformative. Initially not considering a career in the medical field, this hands-on experience has sparked his interest and broadened his horizons. Qaiser admits that a previous unit on architecture also had a similar impact, proving the power of experiential learning.

    By starting early and nurturing students’ interest throughout their education, the hope is to create a steady stream of talented healthcare professionals. Kevin Glover, Director of the Henson Medical Simulation Center, emphasizes the importance of exposing students to various career paths associated with healthcare. The center intends to continue supporting and expanding their partnership with T.A.D, creating more opportunities for students to engage with simulated medical scenarios.

    This meaningful collaboration between Wicomico County Public Schools, Salisbury University, and the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore has made these enriching field trips possible. Grant funding from the Community Foundation has played a significant role in supporting these valuable learning experiences.

    As the program continues to inspire and empower young minds, it is evident that the ‘Thinking and Doing’ program is equipping the next generation with the knowledge, skills, and passion necessary to thrive in the healthcare field.


    What is the T.A.D program?

    The ‘Thinking and Doing’ (T.A.D) program is an advanced instruction program for Gifted and Talented students in grades 3rd-5th. It offers immersive learning experiences and field trips to explore various topics in-depth.

    What is the purpose of the ‘Medical Marvels’ unit?

    The ‘Medical Marvels’ unit aims to provide students with a glimpse into the field of healthcare. Through partnerships and hands-on experiences at the Richard A. Henson Medical Simulation Center, students can learn about the immune system, muscular system, and gain a broader understanding of the human body.

    Why is it important for Gifted and Talented students to work with real professionals?

    Working with real professionals allows Gifted and Talented students to explore potential career paths and understand the opportunities available to them. It helps them make informed decisions about their future and fosters a deeper connection with their areas of interest.

    What is the role of the Henson Medical Simulation Center?

    The Henson Medical Simulation Center provides a cutting-edge facility for nursing and respiratory therapy students. However, the center also aims to expose younger students to different career paths associated with healthcare, broadening their perspectives and encouraging them to consider these opportunities.

    How is the T.A.D program contributing to the local health care pipeline?

    By sparking an interest in STEM and healthcare early on, the T.A.D program hopes to cultivate a steady pipeline of talented healthcare professionals. Students who are inspired throughout their education may ultimately pursue careers in healthcare and contribute to the local industry.