Women in Neurosurgery Outreach Program Promotes Mentorship for Young Students

Duke's Women in Neurosurgery (WINS) outreach program, established in early 2021,  promotes mentorship to young students who are interested in pursuing a career in medicine especially in neurology/neurosurgery.

"With early exposure and support, we believe that students in the younger generation will become more familiar with neurology and neurosurgery as a career option and will sustain their interest as they continue to grow intellectually in their academic development," said Christine Park, Duke medical student and leader of the WINS group for 2021. Park is also part of the lab of Duke neurosurgeon Rory Goodwin, MD, PhD.

The primary goal of the WINS Outreach Program is to allow students to explore neurosurgery through case presentations, faculty talks, and hands-on anatomy/skills lab. In the past year, 23 middle school and high school students participated in the program, through four different virtual sessions:

Session 1: Performing the Neurological Exam

Medical students and residents demonstrated the neurological exam.

Session 2: A Career as a Scientist + Exploring Neuroanatomy

Guest faculty speakers Leonard White, PhD, Neurobiology; Angel Zeininger, PhD, Evolutionary Anthropology; and Carlene Moore, PhD, Neurology, shared with students the story of their journeys as scientists. A neuroantatomy session showcased the human brain and spinal cord, followed by a disccusion of the connection of neuroanatomy to neurological disease.

Session 3: Exploring Medical Specialties

Faculty and residents discussed building a careers in medicine: Mishy Roy, MD, Neurology; Heather Vestal, MD, Psychiatry; Lisa McElroy, MD, Transplant Surgery; Carrie Muh, MD, Pediatric Neurosurgery; Matty Vestal, MD, Pediatric Neurosurgery; Cherylee Chang, MD, Neurocritical Care; and Kelly Murphy, MD, Neurosurgery.

Session 4: Using the Stethoscope and Blood Pressure Cuff

Medical students demonstrated the basic intake of patients, with blood pressure cuffs and stethoscopes provided to each participant.


Photo: Middle school and high school students participated in a neuroanatomy session -- virtual, due to the pandemic -- through Duke's Women in Neurosurgery program.