Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - March/April 2016 - (Page 24)
SHARING THE REWARDS
BUILDING A SHADOWING PROGR
I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN CAPTIVATED BY WHAT PHYSICIANS DO, AND BY THE TIME I REACHED HIGH SCHOOL, I STARTED
TO THINK SERIOUSLY ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF A MEDICAL CAREER. MY FATHER HAS A FRIEND WHO IS A PEDIATRIC
SURGEON, AND WHEN HE INVITED ME TO SHADOW HIM, I JUMPED AT THE OPPORTUNITY. AFTER COMPLETING SOME
PAPERWORK FOR THE HOSPITAL AND BEING TESTED FOR TUBERCULOSIS, I SPENT THE SUMMER AFTER MY FRESHMAN
YEAR WATCHING HIM WORK. IT DIDN'T TAKE LONG FOR ME TO KNOW THAT THIS WAS WHAT I WANTED TO DO.
ummer after summer, I continued to explore the medical field
and met as many physicians as I could. After three years of shadowing, I had observed surgeons of all types, obstetricians, a pediatric anesthesiologist, and many others. I never got tired of watching
I knew many other students who were interested in medical careers
like I was, but they didn't all know a physician who was willing
to take them on as a student. The opportunities I'd had were just
not available to them. In my junior year, I decided to change that.
It Takes a Team
As I was brainstorming ideas for a community service project I needed
to complete for my honors class, I began to outline the events in high
school that I felt had shaped me the most. The first experience on my
list was shadowing. All at once, the idea came to me: I would create a
program that would allow other students at my high school to shadow
physicians so that they could have the experience that I did.
I created a basic outline of my ideas for the program: I wanted each
student to be able to shadow for at least a week, but I didn't want the
program to interfere with schoolwork. The solution seemed to be to send
students to shadow one day every other week over the course of a semester. To make it happen, I'd need the approval of both my school and the
hospital, and I knew I'd need a faculty member to help me handle the
logistics. I set up a meeting with my counselor, Ms. Johnson.
In mid-January, I proposed my idea, the steps needed to implement
it, and a timeline showing when all the steps would be complete. Fortunately, Ms. Johnson was not only receptive but enthusiastic about
my idea. We spent the remainder of the afternoon discussing how to
make the Valley High School Medical Rotation Program a reality.
In order to have the program running by the fall semester, we needed
to complete a few crucial tasks. First, I had to find three or four phy-
sicians who were excited about mentoring high school students. Ms.
Johnson and I would then need to meet with a member of the hospital's
administration to gain consent to send in high school students. Finally,
we would need the support of my school's administration.
I brought the idea to my closest mentor, the pediatric surgeon I had
shadowed for a number of years. Together, we created a list of physicians who we thought would work well with high school students.
Over the next few weeks, I contacted these physicians to discuss my
program. They all responded enthusiastically, and several told me that
shadowing physicians during their educations had been the largest
influence on their decision to pursue medicine. I knew I was on the
A Foundation of Support
By the middle of February, with commitments from three general surgeons and one pediatrician, I was ready to bring my idea to the hospital's administration. The next few weeks consisted of lots of emailing
and calling hospital administrative offices in the hopes of arranging
a meeting with someone who would approve my idea. Three weeks
later, my persistence paid off: I scheduled a meeting with the hospital's
vice president of human resources in March.
I came prepared with a notebook filled with my work from the last
three months. As Ms. Johnson and I walked through the labyrinth of
hallways in the medical education department, I rehearsed my presentation in my head. I reviewed the list of physicians who had agreed to
participate so I could show her that I had a team in place. All I needed
was the proper paperwork for the students to fill out.
A few minutes later, I was in a conference room, describing my plan
to the vice president. We discussed my program extensively for the
next hour, and I left with all the paperwork necessary for a high school
student to shadow a physician at the hospital.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - March/April 2016
In My Own Words Senator Barbara Mikulski
Run, Ride, Sell! Funding causes that matter
Start Something! Initiatives by kids, for kids
Changing Lives, One School at a Time Making a difference for students in need
Empowered to Make a Difference The Civic Leadership Institute at CTY and CTD
Sharing the Gifts of Music The Forget-Me-Not Family Ensemble
Service, Leadership, Entrepreneurship . . . Launch! Learning the art of the startup at MIT Launch
Sharing the Rewards Building a shadowing program for my peers
Discovering the Leader Within Exploring leadership and social justice at Brown
Gap Year A time to refresh, serve, and grow
Research at the Edge of the World An Antarctic photo essay
Selected Opportunities and Resources
Off the Shelf Review of Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See
Exploring Career Options Interview with entrepreneur Henry Albrecht, CEO, Limeade
One Step Ahead My college startup
Planning Ahead for College Skills and knowledge for college success
Students Review: Lehigh University
Mark Your Calendar
Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - March/April 2016