Friday, February 10, 2012

MGH career panel offers students insight into the future

EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE: Logan talks with students about his career at the MGH.

“PICTURE YOU ARE A DOCTOR and speak English, and I am a patient and speak Portuguese. How will you communicate?” Anabela Nunes, manager of Interpreter Services at the MGH, asked a group of students in the MGH Youth Scholars Program. “That is where a medical interpreter comes in.”

The MGH Youth Scholars Program, part of the Center for Community Health Improvement, is a four-year program for youth in grades 9 through 12. Its curriculum exposes students to careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and health while preparing them for the college application process.

Nunes was one of five featured speakers during a Feb. 2 career panel event for 30 ninth graders in the program. Students spent about 20 minutes with each speaker learning what level of education or training programs are necessary to be successful. The MGH staff members also provided an overview of what someone seeking a position in their field could expect on a day-to-day basis.

“If you want to work in a hospital, you don’t have to be a doctor or a nurse – you can be a scientist,” said Robert Logan, research technician in the Department of Neurology, who talked with students about his Parkinson’s disease research. He said one of the main reasons he entered the field was his fascination with the unknown. “I have a love for answering questions, and in my research there are so many questions. Having a job that works to find the answers is great. It’s very hard, but it’s also very rewarding. Every day I’m solving a puzzle.”

The students began this segment of the program in January and will continue to meet weekly until June. “We provide students with resources to make healthy decisions in their lives and provide a curriculum that might spark an interest in a career in science or health care,” says Amanda Walsh, MGH Youth Scholars Program manager.

Other speakers were Nicole Christian, MD, psychiatry resident; Jean Nezivar, research technician in the Infectious Disease Unit; and Ann Hunt, PT, DPT, physical therapist.

“Don’t be afraid to look at a lot of careers and go out and shadow people,” Logan told the students. “Try to get a variety of experiences in a variety of areas so that you can discover what is truly the best fit for you, which may not be what you had originally expected.”

Read more articles from the 2/10/12 Hotline issue.


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