ThunderRidge Senior Ben O'Meara doesn't exactly know what he wants to study in college yet — whether it's physical therapy, psychology or something else entirely, but he at least knows he wants to help people. An IB student to boot, O'Meara's interest in science led him on Oct. 5, a sunny Saturday morning, to Sky Ridge Medical Center for a look inside one of the area's premier hospitals.
“There's a lot of people like me who don't know what their careers are going to be,” O'Meara said. “This is just a good opportunity to experience what it's like inside a hospital and what people do.”
Forty high school students on track to study medicine in college visited Sky Ridge in Lone Tree for the hospital's inaugural Mini-Med University. The program was designed to give a crash course on CPR and Stop the Bleed training — emergency first aid for severe wounds — and give students a look at various levels and departments of the inner workings of a hospital.
“I just want to be able to help people and use science,” O'Meara said.
Mokshanga Gude, 17, a Rock Canyon senior, volunteers at Sky Ridge occasionally. Gude was at Sky Ridge this time to learn more about the hospital she works at. She tutors at Kumon Math and Reading Center and is involved in DECA and the Future Business Leaders of America.
Gude and her family are from India and she said she wants to study rural medicine with plans to practice in her home country.
“Growing up, my family in India has always had a lack of medical resources, which has really triggered my interest toward rural health and rural medicine,” Gude said. Gude said the Mini-Med program taught her of the different avenues she could take to one day work at a hospital, like through pharmacy or nursing.
Students had the chance to ask professionals throughout the hospitals about their careers working in a laboratory, operating room or therapy gym.
Linda Watson, marketing director for Sky Ridge and the program's organizer, said the program sought to educate teens early-on to stoke their interest in the medical field.
“I think we all want to be able to figure out how we train the next group of health-care providers,” Watson said. “We'd love to have these kids come back after medical school or nursing school taking care of our patients.”
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