MOLA Launches Simulation Program to Provide Hands-on Medical Training for High School and College Students

MOLA Launches Simulation Program to Provide Hands-on Medical Training for High School and College Students


Chicago – The Medical Organization for Latino Advancement (MOLA) announced today that it will launch a Simulation Training Program for the 40 high school and undergraduate students participating in its Mentorship Program.



The training program, developed in partnership with Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, will provide participating students with basic clinical training and expose them to real-world medical scenarios through the hospital’s state-of-the-art Simulation Center.

“It is so important that tomorrow’s health care providers step out of the classroom and be exposed to real-life scenarios,” said Mervin Dino, MOLA’s mentorship program director and project leader at Advocate Illinois Masonic.  “Many of our underrepresented Latino hi


gh school students aspiring to work in health care have big dreams and unrecognized potential, but don’t have access to hands-on experience or competitive enrichment programs.  We want to bridge this gap through mentorship and expose them to medical simulation.”

In addition to learning from the program’s physician mentors, students will learn basic medical knowledge, including first aid, vital signs, and CPR, and utilize these skills on robotic patients, also known as “manikins.”  Through the program curriculum, students will also participate in emergency scenarios that could take place in the community such as childbirths and opioid overdose.  MOLA’s students represent various Chicago Public Schools high schools, local community colleges, and universities.

The MOLA Simulation Program will occur on the following dates at Advocate Illinois Masonic’s Simulation Center: Monday, January 15th, Monday, February 19th, and Friday, April 13, and additional programming is in development.

“Most students have to wait until they are in their third year of medical school to get any clinical training or exposure, which is a source of anxiety for many who are eager to learn what it is actually like to be a doctor,” says Dr. Pilar Ortega, MOLA’s president and an Emergency Physician. “We are introducing these first response and safety educational concepts to students 5-10 years earlier than they normally would get such exposures. To those kids, it can make all the difference in the world to recognize at an early stage that they truly have a passion and talent for practicing medicine.”

MOLA’s Mentorship Program aims to build a pipeline to careers in medicine and health care for underrepresented Latino students.  The program also provides team-based mentorship with representation from physicians, residents, medical students, and health professionals. Dr. Ortega adds, “We want these students to take the skills and passion they learn in MOLA and take it back to their communities to help make them safer, healthier, and have brighter careers and futures ahead.”

About MOLA

The Chicago Medical Organization for Latino Advancement (MOLA) is a non-profit association of over 200 Chicagoland Hispanic/Latino physicians and health care professionals working for career advancement, linguistic and cultural competency, personal wellness, and reduced health disparities for the good of the entire Hispanic/Latino community. For more information, please email [email protected]

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