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DETROIT, Mich. — After spending six weeks shadowing physician anesthesiologists in the operating room and office clinics at Henry Ford Health and learning hands-on skills in the simulation lab, 17-year-old Sania Diop has had her eyes opened to a promising and rewarding career in the field of anesthesiology.

“This program really opened my eyes to amazing career possibilities and inspired me to work hard in school and achieve my goals,” Diop said. “Before this program I had real doubts about whether I could become a physician but the anesthesiologists at Henry Ford really boosted by confidence and encouraged me to work hard and go for it.”

Diop was among five high school students who participated in a six-week paid summer observership program hosted by the Henry Ford Health Department of Anesthesiology in partnership with Grow Detroit’s Young Talent.

“My colleagues and I were thrilled to host these incredible young people and advance on our mission to help increase diversity among anesthesia providers, especially those who are underrepresented in medicine,” said Dr. Alexandra DePorre, anesthesiologist at Henry Ford Health. “We are so proud of these young people for sharing their enthusiasm with us and look forward to supporting them on their educational journeys.”

Students were given experiential learning in various medical anesthesia settings — operating rooms, pain clinic, intensive care unit, optimization clinic, obstetric floor, palliative care — as well as hands-on teaching in the simulation center. They were able to see the various team roles involved in anesthesia care and were given lessons on anesthesia topics and professional development.

“It was an honor to spend time with these bright young adults and help introduce them to the important work anesthesiologists do to diagnose and treat patients and perform complex medical procedures,” said Dr. Michael Lewis, president-elect of the Michigan Society of Anesthesiologists and anesthesiology department chair at Henry Ford Health.

Informational sessions were held to explain the numerous paths to medical and nursing school. Students were paired with a physician mentor during their time and presented a summary of their experiences at the end of the program.

“Being in this program really changed me … seeing everyone in the hospital being so passionate about their jobs and loving what they do,” said KrisTiana Dove, 15. “Being there and being able to experience the level of expertise and responsibility and a dedication to helping others. It was amazing to be able to walk around with a badge, like, yes, I am doing something here. I am part of what’s going on here. I am getting ready to help the world be a better place.”


Students work together to induce and intubate a mannequin in the simulation center at Henry Ford Health as part of a six-week paid summer observership program hosted by the Henry Ford Health Department of Anesthesiology in partnership with Grow Detroit’s Young Talent.