An update from Alyssa Eubank, SMU News intern:

They’re not doctors yet, but for the third year in a row 40 SMU students gathered in Dedman Life Science to learn the finer points of surgical stitching.

suture clinic 3Participants in the SMU Suture Clinic learned multiple types of sutures from an Army Reserve surgeon, including when and where to use specific sutures and how to apply them. The clinic is so popular, organizers had to create a waitlist.

Kaplan offered the special clinic to Alpha Epsilon Delta members as a tool to better prepare pre-medical students for real-life situations in medical fields. The AED auctions off a Kaplan prep course during the clinic every year. Kaplan partnered with the Army to bring in all materials and instructors.

“We’ve had a surge of students interested in careers in health care,” said Christine Buchanan, professor of biological sciences and faculty advisor for AED. “Our lectures and clinics give students valuable information they otherwise wouldn’t get.”

suture clinic 2

The prestigious national honor society requires students to take certain classes and maintain a 3.2 grade point average in science courses in order to become a full member. SMU’s chapter allows associate memberships to underclassmen who are pursuing a pre-health curriculum.

“We have speakers come in, many times SMU alumni, who understand the pre-med process, and can speak with undergraduate students about medical issues and medical school,” says Buchanan. “This includes fun events like the suture clinic.”

Enrollment in AED for students who have completed three semesters of pre-medical coursework opens in January 2014, but monthly meetings with guest speakers or clinics are open to all students.

Alpha Epsilon Delta is a national society for students preparing for careers in medicine, dentistry, osteopathic medicine, optometry, podiatry, veterinary medicine, and other allied health professions. There are over 124,000 members in 174 chapters at colleges and universities throughout the United States.