Earlier this year, 13 South Burlington High School (SBHS) students participated in the Medquest Health Careers Exploration Program. The program is an opportunity for students to experience areas of the medical field through workshops and job shadowing while still in high school. For four days, the students lived on the University of Vermont campus and participated in activities in three main categories, therapeutic services, diagnostic services, and counseling and mental health services.
The application process for Medquest, a program of the Champlain Valley Area Health Education Center, is highly competitive due to its popularity. To apply, students must first answer questions about why they are interested in the medical field and then write an essay. This year, approximately one third of the total applicants were accepted. SBHS senior Josie Toof says, “I would say Medquest is a pretty selective program. The application appeared to be looking for students who have a rigorous course schedule and maintain a decent GPA.”
Melissa Pelino, a junior at SBHS, reports she chose to apply to Medquest because she became curious about medical careers when she took biology her sophomore year.” Senior Rachel Norotsky, who also participated in the four-day health career program, added, “I am interested in the medical field in terms of relations and communications, and Medquest gave me the opportunity to explore this interest.”
Katie Gaulin, a junior at SBHS, chose to be part of the diagnostics program where she focused on diagnosing what was wrong with a patient as well as involvement in radiology and pathology. For her, a typical day consisted of attending different clinics during the day. She recalls the day she had the opportunity to observe surgery and speak to the surgeon.
SBHS junior Grace Bever participated in the mental health program. She says she had the opportunity to take a youth mental health first aid course and become certified. Bever called the experience “amazing.”
All the Medquest participants agree that the program was invaluable and encourage other students to apply, especially if they have any interest in the health sciences. Gaulin enthusiastically added, “For anyone who wants to try it [Medquest] or aren’t sure if they’ll get in, go for it. Take that leap.”
SOURCE: Zaneta Sulley,SBHS CDC Correspondent
SBHS CDC Correspondent