Northwestern Discovery Program Introduces Students to Careers in Healthcare

Northwestern Medicine
For Students August 18, 2017
The Northwestern Medicine Discovery Program, previously known as Medical Explorers, has been giving high school students hand-on experiences with careers in healthcare since 1996. The program lasts for two years and hosts monthly meetings, each one focused on a different department in healthcare.

Programs range from hospital administration to nursing to surgery. Students are able to see how many opportunities there are in the healthcare industry and truly understand the roles of each department. The monthly programs feature tours, guest speakers, group discussions, and hands-on projects.

“Our students have been able to tour the emergency room, see what it’s like to be an EMT, and even talk to a patient who has found a way, through advanced medicine, to control his Parkinson’s symptoms,” said Sarah Burke, Director of Internal Affairs at Northwestern Medicine. Most students who apply have an interest in the healthcare industry, but the program is open to any student who wants to learn more about a potential career in the field.

“The students are able to talk to a panel of Feinberg medical students and get advice about how to start preparing for such a career. They can learn what it is like to be a healthcare architect, lobbyist, doctor or surgeon,” said Burke.

Eligibility requirements include being at least 15 years of age, entering sophomore or junior year of high school, have a grade point average of at least 3.0, and be able to commit to the entire two year duration of the program.

Students must also apply to be in the program. Aside from a standard electronic application, students are also required to provide a personal statement, essay, and academic recommendation, along with their high school transcripts.

“We can only accept 40 students per program, and we receive over 200 applications each year. It’s competitive,” said Burke.

The Discovery Program is divided into two locations: Central/North and West. To get involved students must live in either Cook, Lake, Will, or McHenry county for the Central/North location or DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lee, or Ogle county for the West location.

For the Central/North program, meetings are held downtown at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The West program’s location alternates between Central DuPage hospital, Delnor hospital, and other various office locations.

Learn more about the Northwestern Medicine Discovery Program.