Health Careers Institute Goes Virtual, but Stays Hands-on

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July 24, 2020 | Glendale, AZ

Health Careers Institute for High School Students Thomas McDaniel, D.M.D., Professor, takes video of Robert Kramer, D.M.D., Director of PreClinical Faculty, as they present an online workshop at the 2020 Health Careers Institute for High School Students.

The annual Health Careers Institute for High School Students at Midwestern University is an interactive, hands-on opportunity for young people interested in a future in healthcare to sample medical careers.

The event, presented by Midwestern University and the BHHS Legacy Foundation, is open to high school juniors and seniors and routinely draws over 100 applications for a limited number of available slots from some of Arizona’s brightest young 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 Health Careers Institute format was modified to a five-day online seminar where students joined over 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 hands-on 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,” said Kali Tom (CVM 2023), one of the Midwestern University student volunteers for the program. “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.”

Rebekah Kimme - HCI
Rebekah Kimme, a student from University High School in Tolleson, AZ, participates in an interactive online suturing workshop during the Health Careers Institute for High School Students.