In late July, Midwestern University, at 19555 N. 59th Ave., Glendale, hosted its annual Health Careers Institute for High School Students; an interactive, hands-on opportunity for young people interested in a future in healthcare to sample medical careers.
The event, presented by Midwestern and the BHHS Legacy Foundation, is open to high school juniors and seniors and routinely draws more than 100 applications for a limited number of available slots from Arizona students. Over the course of the HCI, participants learn about career opportunities in healthcare from Midwestern University’s faculty experts and student volunteers via lectures, hands-on workshops, and mentoring sessions.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s format was modified to a five-day online seminar where students joined more than 50 university presenters and mentors via WebEx and Zoom teleconferencing. Midwestern sent each of the 34 participants a “care package” full of books, kits, and other items that the students employed under the presenters’ and mentors’ direction to allow them to practice medical techniques and participate interactively with each other.
Among the many workshops available during the event, student participants had the opportunity to try their hand at suturing, taking their own vital signs, testing the efficacy of toothbrushes versus miswack sticks, exploring interactive models of the human heart and skeleton, and analyzing the mental and emotional elements in student-created paintings. Faculty and student mentors instructed and guided the attendees in real time through online conferencing software.
“I had a wonderful week mentoring the high school students,” Kali Tom, one of the Midwestern University student volunteers for the program, stated in a news release. “Despite not being able to run the workshops in person, everyone did a phenomenal job picking something interesting about their field to talk about online. I was very impressed by the presenters, and especially with the high school students who are already thinking so far ahead.”