The Cardiovascular Imaging Network at Queen’s (CINQ) partnered up with Queen’s Enrichment Studies Unit (ESU) this year for the first ever cardiovascular medicine course offered by ESU’s Seven & Eight Enrichment Days (SEEDS) for grade 7-8 students.
The course, titled Heart to Heart with Cardiovascular Medicine, is a three day course carefully designed for students in grade 7-8 with an interested in medicine. As a centre for cardiovascular research, clinical practice, and medical training in advanced cardiac and vascular imaging technique, CINQ recognizes that a major component in the future of cardiovascular health care is awareness and prevention. The goal of this course is to impress upon today’s youth how pivotal healthy body weight, moderate sugar intake, and regular exercise are in the avoidance of later-life cardiac risk, with the long term goal of circumventing morbidity and costly treatment.
This three day course ran for two sessions in May, and included a variety of modules to engage student in various discussions on nutrition and diet, cardiac benefits to regular exercise, cardiac risk factors, as well as cardiovascular conditions including atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, and acute coronary syndrome. Students also learned to operate state of the art equipment like the hand held ultrasound V-Scan devices, and had access to plastinated heart specimens from Queen’s anatomy museum to gain a comprehensive understanding of the heart’s anatomy. Every student ended the course with a group presentation of their understanding of cardiovascular health with different tools like echo images of the heart and plastinated heart specimens.
Everyone in the CINQ lab came together to contribute to this science outreach plan. The lab’s very own M.Sc. Candidate, Olivia Yau was the course coordinator and instructor, and she was joined by CINQ lab guest speakers including Dr. Amer Johri, Echo Fellow Dr. Zardasht Jaff, and MD/PhD student Laura Mantella. This allowed students interested in pursuing a career in medicine to ask questions about the medical profession, as well as the numerous other opportunities in the field. This course received positive feedback from students who participated, where students especially enjoyed hands on and interactive activities like practicing vascular ultrasound scanning on each other, working with the plastinated heart specimens, as well as having the opportunity to talk to various medical professionals. CINQ is very proud of the success we’ve had so far with our first cardiovascular medicine course offered to SEEDS, and is looking forward to continue our community outreach efforts.