Middletown hospital helping local students see medical careers up close

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

High school students shadow Atrium Medical Center ER specialists.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Area high school students recently learned they aren’t too young to start evaluating possible medical careers as part of an Atrium Medical Center program that lets them shadow hospital specialists.

Growing in popularity, the program at the Middletown hospital last week saw students from Edgewood, Middletown and Mason high schools donning white hospital scrubs as they toured the center, asking questions and experiencing whether the work environment suits them.

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The TAP MD program – named and designed to tap into the natural curiosity of teens about the medicine and health care industry – also serves as the beginning of a possible employee development pipeline that could help Atrium and other regional Premier Health System centers.

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“In our community, there are many talented young people and we want them to know the types of career opportunities available at Premier Health,” said Yolanda Munguia, academic partnerships program manager for Premier Health Learning Institute, the educational arm of the Premier Health system.

“We do this by providing students job shadowing, career fairs, career exploration events and introducing them to potential mentors and job openings.”

Last week’s high school group saw different aspects of Atrium Medical Center’s stroke program. Students heard from speakers on neurology, emergency trauma, medical imaging and intensive care, she said.

Students also saw a hospital worker who volunteered to act as a stroke “victim” just rushed into the emergency room and then taken to an examination room where she was seen, questioned and diagnosed by a vascular neurologist who was video-conferencing on camera from a remote locations.

Edgewood High School senior Madisyn Carroll was impressed.

“This has really given me a preview into the medical world and explained to me more about how medicine works,” Carroll said.

Initially, Carroll said she was interested in becoming a doctor, but after conversations with nurses on site, she realized there were many opportunities for interactions with patients in that field.

“I really appreciate how it lets students experience stuff before they go to college so that they don’t have to waste money not going into the right field of study first,” she said.

Munguia said students applying to the program “must be strong academically, motivated, mature, dependable and have a positive attitude. Ultimately, the goal of the TAP MD program is for more than 50 percent of participants to pursue a career in medicine and become doctors, nurse practitioners or physician assistants.”

“It’s a great opportunity for kids to see how real medicine and real doctors work,” Carroll said.