November 15, 2019

High School student explores the medical field

By Lanet Hane

Maine is in need of an increasing number of medical professionals at all levels, and Maine Medical is hoping to interest more high school students in the profession through its Medical Explorer’s program.

Abigail Nelson and others learning about the
role of an EMT
The Medical Explorer’s program is a free, 8-week program hosted by Maine Medical as part of their overall pipeline program. It is an opportunity for high school students interested in a variety of medical careers to learn more about a wide range of opportunities and what is involved in the day-to-day life of those occupations.

Abbey Nelson is a Windham High School student who made it into this program this fall, “I talked to a lot of seniors who had shadow experiences doing their Capstone projects and realized they weren’t interested in the field,” she said. “This class has been a chance for me to access professional information about the field and connect with the right people to understand whether it is for me.”

The professional information Nelson talks about is the result of a variety of guest speakers, including doctors and other health professionals who come into the 90-minute weekly classes to share about their experience in the profession. The class had also included trips to a simulation lab at a college and the fire department.

Alongside clear information about the life of individuals in health occupations, participants have the chance to hear from college staff who explain the process of getting into medical school and help students understand the steps they need to take to be prepared and get into the programs of their choice.

“The chance to network in this program has been so valuable,” Nelson stated. “Because of new connections, I am now considering attending USM, which wasn’t even on my radar before.”

Because of how interactive and helpful it is, the program fills up quickly each session. Luckily for Abbey, once she was accepted into the fall session, she now has the choice to return in the spring session. She plans to do so; “An extra 90-minute class once a week doesn’t sound exciting, but once you get into the program, you’ll understand. This class has helped me see what a rewarding career I can have in the medical field, and I am excited to dive even deeper this spring.”

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