School of Medicine

High School Outreach Program

High School Outreach Program
Daniel A. Anderson / University Communications
A glimmer of excitement lit students' eyes as they explored healthcare professions during the hands-on workshop.

UC Irvine is dedicated to serving our community by educating healthcare professionals of the future. 

Ralph V. Clayman, MD, a UC Irvine School of Medicine professor of urology, developed the High School Outreach Program in June 2008 to inspire students to pursue a career in medicine.

Whether a student is interested in becoming a surgeon or working as a biomedical engineer, the program provides a unique training experience.

The program invites the top 20 students from each of the 67 high schools in Orange County to participate in hands-on instruction using the most advanced medical equipment.

Students are invited to a half-day of training in UC Irvine’s state-of-the-art simulation center.

They have an opportunity to become medical students for a day, donning surgical scrubs and interacting with urologists in the expansive training facility.

After a brief lecture about minimally invasive surgical techniques, the students have an opportunity to practice a variety of surgical techniques using UC Irvine’s highly advanced equipment.

When students arrive at the simulation center, they are divided into four groups.

Each group then spends about 20 minutes working at the following four training lab stations:

  • Suturing — At this station, students learn how to perform sutures and tie knots using standard surgical tools.
  • Laparoscopic trainer — Using laparoscopic tools, students thread string through little eyeholes and perform other surgical techniques.
  • Virtual reality simulator — Similar to laparoscopic training, the virtual simulator offers students the opportunity to perform laparoscopic techniques using virtual reality simulators.
  • DaVinci robotic surgical system — Again, students perform the same exercises they did at the other stations only this time they use a robotic interface. Everything is three dimensional, which enables them to complete the tasks more easily.

After visiting the four stations, students are invited to participate in a question-and-answer session followed by a picnic lunch.

For more information about the High School Outreach Program, please contact:

University of California, Irvine
Department of Urology
333 City Blvd West, Suite 2100, Rte 81
Orange, CA 92868