PRESE RELEASE: U OF U MED STUDENTS BROADEN MEDICAL HORIZONS FOR HIGH SCHOOL SCIENCE CLASSES
Students from the University of Utah Medical School will spend part of their holiday break travelling to rural towns in Utah to encourage and inspire high school students to seek careers in medicine.
Hurricane, Utah, January 2, 2014 – Few from rural Utah would argue that there is an over-abundance of access to medical care. It has been recognized for years across Utah, and rural communities nation-wide, that there is a growing shortage of health care providers in our small towns and cities. Medical students from the University of Utah would like to see that change. Harnessing the motivation and altruism of these young, hard-working medical students, the Utah Rural Outreach Program (UROP) sends medical students to communities in Utah to engage high school students in their biology or anatomy/physiology classes about the opportunities presented by a medical career.
It is well documented that people who hail from rural communities are more likely to return to them to establish medical practice after training. Therefore, it is critical that rural students have ample exposure to career opportunities and guidance on educational pathways to achieve them, whether as a physician, physician’s assistant, nurse, physical therapist, or any number of possibilities.
On January 2nd and 3rd, Utah medical students will be visiting classes in Hurricane and Kanab. They will talk to students about their own journey to medicine, the reality of pursuing the right education, and will likely have some sensational projects to do with the kids (think Gross Anatomy!)
The Utah Rural Outreach Program is supported by Utah Area Health Education Centers (AHEC), www.ahec.utah.edu and is partially sponsored by the Utah Academy of Family Physicians, an organization that seeks to address barriers to access to medical care, as well as to improve the health of all individuals through effective delivery of world-class medical care.
Kristen Lilja, University of Utah Medical Student
Utah Academy of Family Physicians