“What do you want to be?” is probably one of the scariest questions you can pose to a high school student, and compounding the difficulty of answering it is that many of today’s most viable and exciting career options are often hidden from view.
The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame’s TD Discovery Days in Health Sciences program is aiming to expose those students to the depth and breadth of careers that exist in one of Canada’s most innovative fields of work – the health sciences.
Discovery Days offer a myriad of hands-on workshops, a keynote lecture and a lively career panel at universities across the country, allowing students to get a taste of medical and science careers from the researchers, clinicians, practitioners and educators who practice them. Both the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta will be hosting a Discovery Day, October 12 and 18 respectively. The events will attract hundreds of students from all over Alberta.
Ally Robinson, 17, attended a Discovery Day at the University of Calgary last year while she was a Grade 11 student at Ernest Manning High School.
“I don’t like missing school, [but] this was a good day,” recalls Robinson.
The insight she gained from the various workshops and talking to both experienced and new health care professionals helped to clarify some of the questions she had about pursuing a health science career. She’s eager to promote this year’s event to other students at her high school, knowing that it will be an eye-opener for many young people.
The need for health science professionals and workers is growing; the exposure to exploratory career days are an effective method of inspiring students when they are primed to make post secondary career choices, says Jennifer Logan, the program co-coordinator for the Bachelor of Health Sciences, and the University of Calgary is well known for its diversity in health sciences, offering many different health care career tracks.
“We look at Discovery Day not just as an interesting outreach program but it’s actually a really valuable recruitment tool for a science program like ours,” says Logan. “It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Students who attend get a personal perspective into the lives of the researchers and clinicians delivering the workshops, while current Bachelor of Health Sciences students are also on hand to share their experiences with academic life so far.
Since The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame launched this innovative education program in 1997, more than 20,000 students and teachers from across Canada have benefited from these interactive learning days.
For more information on The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame and TD Discovery Days in Health Sciences visit http://www.cdnmedhall.org