Health Career Explorations

Posted on October 4th, 2012 by

By E. W., 10/04/2012
            For those of you who are interested in the medical field after graduation, you probably think you have a clear idea of have sector of medicine you want to practice. While you might feel confident in your decision, take a moment to consider how much you really know about any given medical career. Have you ever talked with a health professional about his or her career? Have you shadowed or participated in a mentorship program in a local hospital or clinic? Have you recently taken a trip to a medical establishment that didn’t require receiving medical care but rather involved gaining knowledge and insights on various medical occupations? More than likely, the answers to these questions are no. Don’t worry, though; chances are you’re not alone. It is extremely difficult for most students to get an inside view the health care system. However, the CSL is once again giving Gustavus students the opportunity to obtain a first-hand look into the several local clinics and hospitals.
For the fourth year, the CSL is working hand-in-hand with the Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato, the Mankato Clinic and Specialty Clinics Rotation Areas, and the River’s Edge Hospital and Clinic Rotation Area to put on the Health Career Exploration Program. The program allows students to gain an appreciation and understanding for the reality of the medical field as they travel to various hospitals and clinics over the month of January. Health Professions Coordinator Heather Banks explains that the program is for anyone interested in the health field because students spend time shadowing various career options, from doctors to billing. Although you might be interested in only a few of the sectors, Banks recommends keeping an open mind since all areas must work together to provide a patient care. Overall, Banks encourages students to use this opportunity to help focus their ideas and interests in order to gain the most from their education.
Eight Students at Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato
As a former participant in the program, senior Biology major Jenny Hendricks can attest to its importance as well as its practicality. Hendricks went into the program nearly two years ago considering the career of physical assistant. Today, she is still preparing for that career, but she asserts that through her participation she was able to “truly get a complete view of the healthcare system” and “see exactly how the PA/physician/nurse relationship works in different settings.” This is the sort of experience and knowledge that medical and graduate schools as well as employers like to see from their applicants. In fact, recent Gusties who have gone on to med school have put listed this experience as one of the top fifteen things they have done.  

If you are interested in participating in this program, stop by the CSL to pick up an application. This program is selective, so make sure to be thorough when completing the forms. Hendricks suggests doing research into your field of interest to show those reviewing the application that you are serious and prepared. Once the applications have been reviewed, the finalists will be notified and brought in for interviews. When talking to the interviewer, Banks states that it is important to convey your maturity, as well as your ability to maintain an open mind. Be sure that the interviewer also understands you passion for the medical field.  The deadline to submit an application is October 10th.  Please keep in mind that this program counts as a January Interim Experience so it does involve a large time commitment.  Also, if you are selected, you will be responsible for your own transportation.  If you are interested at all in this program, I would highly recommend getting more information from the CSL.  Do not hesitate to ask any questions about this program because as Hendricks states, “This is an amazing and unique opportunity for students at Gustavus to take advantage of so don’t pass it up!”


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