Author: Caroline Schmidt
Are you a high school student who is interested in pursuing a career in the medical field? If so, here are some jobs and activities where you can explore medicine and see if it is the right career path for you! Volunteering or working in a hospital is not the safest option right now, but there are many other opportunities that allow you to gain medical experience in a safe environment.
School and community clubs and organizations are fun ways to get involved and show leadership. Here are some examples of clubs that high schoolers can join or start at their schools.
HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America): This club offers many opportunities to learn about medicine including leadership conferences and competitions. This year, all events are virtual, so it is a COVID-19 safe extracurricular. You can join your local chapter or follow the instructions on their website to start one!
Doctors Without Borders Club: Doctors Without Borders is an organization that sends doctors all over the world where they are most needed. This club spreads awareness to this program, and organizes fundraisers to help support this organization. You can join your local chapter or start your own chapter.
Best Buddies: Although this club is not as related to medicine as the ones mentioned above, students will work with kids who have disabilities, and establish friendships with them. As a healthcare professional, you will spend a lot of time talking to patients, and joining this club will help you socially. You will make a lot of new friends too!
Science Clubs: If you are interested in studying medicine, you will be taking many science courses. Any club related to science or your preferred major that is offered in your area would be a great way to expand your knowledge on these subjects.
Research, Shadowing, and Volunteering
Virtual Shadowing: On websites like The Heal Clinical Education Network, and virtualshadowing.com, you can sign up to virtually shadow a physician. Shadowing is an opportunity to experience what a healthcare professional does in a day, and this is a great place to start!
Summer Programs: Many medical schools or research institutions offer summer programs for high schoolers. Although they are expensive, you can benefit from being able to learn about a topic or field that interests you. Some programs allow you to develop your own research project and work closely with professors. Others put you in a traditional classroom setting. Summer is far away, but it is never too early to find a program you may be interested in. You may have to submit your GPA and/or standardized test score to show academic qualification.
VolunteerMatch: VolunteerMatch is a website where you can explore volunteering opportunities, medical related or not, and find experiences near you or online. There are many organizations that are looking for teenage volunteers.