On February 21 students and experts alike gathered at the Granite Technical Institute to discuss the real world of health care careers. Various professionals such as pharmacists, mental health workers, nurses, and experts in health information technology, to name only a few, congregated to tell curious students what working in the field is like, how much education is needed and answered all manners of questions. Through basic discussions, games and activities like creating lip balm with pharmacists, students wishing to work in heath care left with a clearer direction for the future.
Participants had their choice of three different sessions lead by unique experts in order to get a broad perspective on the health care industry. A wealth of information was provided by professionals working in the field, but some of the most valuable advice, for future doctors and future something-else’s was given by a panel of medical school and pharmacy school students leading a session called “What’s it Really Like?”
Jordan Jones, Tina Mamalis and Judd Cahoon from the University of Utah medical school and Tyler Cowart from the University’s pharmacy school, having spent the majority of their young lives in school and facing many more years of the same had some choice advice for students looking ahead.
Initially shy students opened up questions ranging from the practical to the personal. When questioned about their ability to have social lives, Cahoon recommended, “You have to keep doing the things you did before or you’ll go crazy.”
Predictably, many questions focused on how to get accepted to medical school in the first place. Good grades in college are a must, and there are a few required courses, but one of the most recommended courses of action was pursuing a passion as a major while working in those prerequisites. “They want well rounded people in medical school,” Jones explained, “not just science nerds.” Mamalis, who in fact majored in German in college recommended, “Find out now what you want to do.”
She advised, “Do what you can to experience it,” seconded by Cowart with, “What you think that a doctor does might only be on the surface.” Their advice holds true not only for those who will go on to medical school, but anyone looking to further his education beyond high school. Follow your passion, experience the job first-hand, and make an effort to get involved in a variety of things.
As Kevin Bell, representative from the University of Utah, said, “If you don’t put the time into it the time will pass anyway.”