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Health Center Today, April 7, 2010

Clinical Career Day 2010

By Chris DeFrancesco

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Nearly 400 students from 26 area high schools visited Thursday, April 1, for the Health Center’s seventh annual High School Clinical Career Day.

High School Clinical Career day is the work of the Connecticut Area Health Education Consortium (CT AHEC) and the Department of Human Resources, intending to provide secondary school students with information about health careers.

"These are very interesting times," says Dr. Bruce Gould, associate dean for primary care and CT AHEC director. "With health care reform many of the uninsured will gain some access to the health care system, creating a huge need for health care providers across the spectrum of health professions. Providing young people with quality information and caring role models early on is critical for the development of a diverse, well-trained workforce."

The Food Court and academic lobby were home to two dozen tables offering discussions and demonstrations of various career paths in health care, such as nursing, pharmacy, paramedics, neonatal intensive care, social work, and clinical engineering.

Following that, the students broke into smaller groups for a series of classroom workshops on topics they registered for in advance.

"I volunteered for the High School Clinical Career Day because I recognize the need for early exposure to careers in the health field," says Urban Service Track student coordinator Marcus Moss, a second-year dental student. "My hope was to solidify or establish the desire – in one child – to pursue a career in the health field. Being able to relate to the kids ethnically, economically, and socially was a big boost to their confidence and hopefully in their ability to succeed upon entry."

CT AHEC also sponsors, a site with information about 22 health careers and 80 health occupations.