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The premier resource for hospital professionals from Relias Media, the trusted source for healthcare information and continuing education.

School on Saturday? Program draws students into science careers

Source: Oscar H. Izquierdo

Joy Daughtery Dickinson is executive editor of the Hospital Group of publications at AHC Media in Atlanta and long-time editor and writer of Same-Day Surgery. She has won 10 national awards from the Specialized Information Publishers Association and the Association of Business Information & Media Companies for her blogging, news writing, and editing. She makes her home in southwest Georgia.

My daughter is going to an academic program this summer in which the high school students spend five and a half days a week (yes, that includes Saturdays) in school to study one topic in depth. She picked genetics and says she might end up pursuing that field as a career.

That same type of system is in place at Loyola University Medical Center to attract more women to orthopedic surgery and engineering. In a one-day Saturday program, high school females get to wear scrubs and perform mock orthopedic surgeries. Female orthopedic surgeons and an engineer give talks. Also, Loyola offers a similar one-day program to first- and second-year medical students in the area. The programs are sponsored by the Perry Initiative, a non-profit organization that seeks to develop female leaders in orthopedic surgery and engineering.

Think a one-day program can’t make a big difference? The results say otherwise, When 200 high school students were surveyed about whether participating in a Perry Initiative program increased their interest in a science career, 92% said it did, and 90% said they are now interested in orthopedic surgery. More than half of past participants who go to college say they are majoring in pre-med or a related major.

What can your facility do today to attract more students into science-related careers? You can start by getting more information about the Perry Initiative. Putting effort into setting up these programs today can pay off with more and higher quality applicants for your future job openings. (Editor’s note: Obtain hospital-related breaking news as it happens on Twitter @HospitalReport.)