April 2016, Volume 20, Number 2

Academics

One Campus, Excellence in 20+ Fields

In a time of growing education costs, MDC’s Medical Campus continues its longstanding tradition of offering exceptional training for high-paying, in-demand jobs at an unbeatable tuition price. Since opening its doors in 1977, Medical Campus has remained at the forefront of the field, incorporating state-of-the-art technologies to ensure students are prepared for challenging medical careers.

Medical Campus offers more than 20 programs, including Physician Assistant, Opticianry, Emergency Medical Technician and Vision Care Technology. With strong community relationships, hands-on practicums and faculty who mentor along the way, MDC is preparing the next generation of health care specialists to excel in all fields. The stories that follow offer a glimpse of how Medical Campus students achieve their dreams of healing others.

Dental Hygienist Stops Illness Before It Starts

They say prevention is the best medicine, and that’s a big reason why Yuniesky Santiesteban is studying to be a dental hygienist.

“There are people who would not have the financial resources to receive treatment for oral diseases. But if they can prevent these illnesses, they can save a lot of money,” said the 31-year-old native of Cuba who is set to complete an associate degree in dental hygiene in 2017.

Santiesteban wants to eventually earn a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene and is hoping MDC will add that program soon. Currently MDC’s associate degree in dental hygiene is a three-year program, including pre-requisites.

Santiesteban was working full time in marketing when he began at MDC. Once he realized how demanding the program is, he cut back his work hours so that he could excel in his classes.  

“In the end, I am confident it will pay off for me,” he said.

She Followed Her Passion to Vet Tech Success

Growing up in Haiti, Lorraine Boucicaut had 12 cats, four parrots, four turtles and two dogs. So it’s no surprise that when she arrived at MDC’s Medical Campus, she decided to pursue an Associate in Science in Veterinary Technology, which she is completing this summer.

During her studies, she has worked full time as an administrative assistant at the River Run Animal Hospital in Miramar, a job she has held since she arrived in Florida eight years ago.

With her work load, it has taken her longer than some students to complete her degree, but she’s happy with how it has turned out, because she was able to combine classroom lessons with real-world experience.

“I really like Medical Campus,” Boucicaut said. “The teachers are tough, but they care about us and are so supportive.”

Once she graduates, she plans to continue at River Run, where she has risen to the point that she assists the doctor in surgery.

“I have been exposed to the medical field since I was little because my mom is a doctor,” she said. “But I knew that working with people wasn’t for me.

“When I first came to South Florida, I volunteered at River Run. I loved it and kept going back. This has always been my passion.”

With Full Picture in Mind, He Heals Whole Body

Jamar Raymond, who graduates in April with a certificate in massage therapy, said his MDC studies have given him a fuller understanding of the human body, which in turn will help him heal others.

“We take several anatomy courses, learning the body from the inside out,” he said. “We’ve learned about the circulatory, digestive and immune systems, and how everything functions together.”

Back pain is a main ailment treated by massage therapists. While they don’t make diagnoses, they do offer recommendations based on a patient’s habits and lifestyle.

Raymond, who at 33 is transitioning out of work in armed security, has been inspired to excel by his MDC professors, including David González and Ximena Baca, who are strong mentors.

“My courses have taught me to analyze a person by how they stand, how they move, their posture, and if they are hydrated properly – all these things have an effect,” Raymond said. “The professors who run the program are very excited about what they do, and they make you excited. Because of them, I’m motivated to go further and study physical therapy or maybe to become a paramedic.”

PAs Take First Place

In a Jeopardy-style competition, MDC’s physician assistants once again proved their academic might by capturing first place in the 10th Annual Medical Challenge Bowl of the Florida Academy of Physician Assistants in which they competed against squads composed primarily of graduate students. Challenging medical questions were lobbed at the students, who were given less than 10 seconds to respond. The Challenge Bowl included 26 student teams from all PA programs in the state of Florida, including MDC’s local neighbors Florida International University, Nova Southeastern University, Barry University, the University of Florida and others. Faculty coach Dr. Nicolas Massimini led MDC’s team, which consisted of Liz Holguin, Olivia Iglesias and Solumeh Zoghi from the Class of 2016.

— WV


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Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
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