By exposing students to the world of medicine and the multidisciplinary nature of health care, the ‘Future Health Professionals’ one-week intensive program is changing lives one student at a time.
Each year, thirty WA students from Year 11 and 12 are given the opportunity to experience what it is like to work in the medical and health sciences field. Through lectures, exclusive tours of hospital facilities and hands-on workshops they learn about speciality fields such as paediatrics, paramedicine, plastic surgery and dentistry among others.
The program has been vital in inspiring students to pursue their dreams of gaining a career in the medical field.
After participating in the program last year, Year 12 student Katherine Magpily, was offered a place in the direct pathway to medicine at UWA.
“It was a dream of mine to be offered this place and has been my goal throughout my last two years of high school,” she said. “I don’t think I would have made it if I hadn’t had the opportunity to truly experience the medical field. The program was amazing and fulfilling and inspiring in so many ways and provided me with motivation [in Year 12] when things got tough.”
For other students who have taken part in the program, it reinforced their goal to become medical professionals and has empowered them to inspire their fellow students to explore medicine.
Monisha Arora, a Year 10 student spoke fondly of her time at the program. She described it as “one of the most rewarding, interesting and informative experiences I have ever had.”
“I have wanted to be a doctor since the age of five and the experience has only enforced that much desired goal,” she said. Monisha later did a presentation in her secondary school assembly about her experience at the program and described it as a “big success.”
“Everyone loved hearing about the amazing things we did and took part in,” she said.
The impact of the ‘Future Health Professionals’ program is not only being felt by students alone, but also by their parents.
Sophia Churack’s mother, Danielle, spoke of how the ‘Future Health Professionals’ program gave her daughter the direction she needed in choosing her career.
“Sophia has been a different person since the course,” she said.
“The ‘Future Health Professionals’ program gave Sophia the motivation, interest and the clarity to choose something in the health field. I’ve never seen my shy daughter so animated and excited when talking about the diversity within the world of medicine.”
The program is run by Scitech and the Department of Postgraduate Medical Education, in collaboration with the Centre for Nursing Education at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. Other participating organisations include Murdoch University, Edith Cowan University, University of Western Australia, Harry Perkins Institute, Lions Eye Institute, Fiona Wood Foundation and Perth Children’s Hospital to name a few.