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  • Elisabeth Richardson

Former grads introduce Camp MedPrep at SouthLake Christian Academy

Updated: Jul 28, 2019

Stephanie Cernuto ('11) and Courtney (Stump) Browning ('10) returned to SouthLake June 17-21 for an immersion camp that introduced high school students to the medical field. Both are physician assistants; Cernuto will be practicing in the neonatal intensive care unit with Kidz Medical Services at South Miami Hospital, and Browning practices family medicine in Hickory.


The idea for the camp came from Cernuto's and Browning's college experiences. Both felt like they had to catch up with the other students who came from homes in which their parents were medical professionals. Creating this camp was a way to give back to SouthLake and provide students with a window into the world of medicine—its various careers, the terminology, hands-on procedures, and more—before they got to college.

Cernuto explained, “Coming from a non-medical family, I quickly realized that the medical world has a language and distinct verbiage of its own. At the beginning of my education, I noticed that those who had family members in the medical field had already been exposed to many concepts, making it easier for them to learn without having to constantly look up words and concepts as if they were a foreign language.”

“I wanted to educate high school students so that they can make a more informed decision about their career path,” explained Browning.

Browning agreed: “It was difficult for me to navigate all the medical professions at that age and decide on a career path, so I wanted to educate high school students so that they can make a more informed decision about their career path.”

Curriculum covered the heart, mental health, pediatric milestones, diabetes, common procedures, lab results, common orthopedic injuries, how to take a proper history and physical, different medical specialties, how to take vital signs, medical terminology, nutritional deficiencies, and more.

Once SLCA was onboard, they launched a website, emailed college counselors, posted in local newspapers, and visited high schools to speak with interested students. Six high schoolers, ages 15-18 signed up for the June 17-21 immersion camp. Curriculum covered the heart, mental health, pediatric milestones, diabetes, common procedures, lab results, common orthopedic injuries, how to take a proper history and physical, different medical specialties, how to take vital signs, medical terminology, nutritional deficiencies, and more. The favorite topic? “We got rave reviews about the mental health section—a testament to the need of more education on mental disorders and treatments,” shared Cernuto.

But overall, the hands-on activities—suturing, casting, IVs, injections, etc.—were the campers' favorite part of the week. Cernuto and Browning hope to add more procedures next year.


If you’d like to be put on a mailing list to receive notifications about MedPrep camp, please email info@southlakechristian.org.


Cernuto received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Wake Forest University and then completed the physician assistant program Lenoir-Rhyne. Browning completed her bachelor’s degree in science at Wingate University and completed the physician assistant program at Gardner-Webb University.



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