TUCSON, Ariz. – About 125 high school students, many with parents, a sibling or two, and counselors in tow, will participate in a health career fair Wednesday, Feb. 12, 5-7:30 p.m., where they’ll learn about the myriad of job options in the health professions.
The event takes place in the La Galería conference room at Banner – University Medical Center South, 2800 E. Ajo Way, Tucson.
This is the fourth year for the “A Pathway to Success” high school health career fairs that began in 2017, inspired by two internal medicine resident physicians as a way to encourage teens, particularly from underserved communities, to pursue careers in medicine. Held twice a year, they’re spearheaded by medical students, residents and faculty at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson at South Campus.
“The fairs,” said Ina Rios, a senior program coordinator with the college’s South Campus Graduate Medical Education Office, “are full of interactive activities that highlight different career options. The students get a taste of just about everything the health care professions have to offer.” That includes dinner, provided prior to the fair courtesy of Banner – UMC South’s cafeteria adjacent to La Galería.
Registered attendees include about 51 students from Sunnyside High School, 34 from Pueblo High School; a dozen each from Amphi, Flowing Wells and Toltecalli high schools; and a handful from Canyon Del Oro, Cienega, Palo Verde, Star Academic, Tucson and Vail Academy high schools. That represents 25 more than anticipated and the first time the event reached its registration limit a month in advance.
“Normally, we have a couple of residents on a morning TV program to pitch the event to high school students the week before like we did last October,” said Rios, “but Dr. Gianna O’Hara, an internal medicine resident, visited a science class at Sunnyside Jan. 8 and she had 38 registered by the time she left. A few more high school visits and we were full.”
For the fairs, La Galería fields rows of chairs for students, parents, counselors and others to hear presentations from speakers at 5:30 p.m. Activity tables are staffed with individuals who can speak about their path to their health careers. These include physicians, paramedics, pharmacists, dietitians, physical, respiratory and occupational therapists, medical assistants, and others with lab services, labor and delivery, and medical imaging.
Popular activities include intubation of baby or adult mannequins, a respiratory jacket that demonstrates constricted breathing, and an ultrasound machine. View photos from February 2019’s fair.
Also present are UArizona Office of Admissions and University of Arizona Health Sciences Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion staff members, as well as a Banner Health talent acquisition recruiter to discuss volunteer and training opportunities. Alma Aguirre, UArizona Med-Start Health Careers program coordinator, will promote summer academic enrichment program for 11th-grade Arizona high school students interested in pursuing careers in health sciences.
Following introductions and initial comments, groups of fair attendees are led on tours of the hospital by resident physicians and medical students that include visits to the MRI suite, cardiac catheterization lab, endoscopy lab, ICU and ER. After the tours, speakers will include: Nicholas Blackstone, MD, UArizona/Banner – UMC South Internal Medicine resident-physician; Kenji Yoshino, MD, UArizona/Banner – UMC South Internal Medicine resident physician; Marisela Mariscal, MD, a first-year UArizona/Banner Family and Community Medicine resident; and Gilbert Garcia, a Banner Health quality improvement specialist. Dr. Mariscal and Garcia are from Tucson and will talk about stepping stones in their careers. Drs. Blackstone and Yoshino are on the event’s organizing committee. They’ll award a series of prizes later, culminating with presentation of a $500 scholarship for a lucky senior who submitted an essay on their career goals in health.
Rios noted this is the first fair for 2020, and another will be held this fall. Those interested in attending can RSVP at the current registry webpage. Late registrants for the Feb. 12 fair are being added to a waiting list for the next A Pathway to Success event in October.
NOTE: Photos available upon request.
About the University of Arizona College of Medicine –Tucson
The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson is shaping the future of medicine through state-of-the-art medical education programs, groundbreaking research and advancements in patient care in Arizona and beyond. Founded in 1967, the college boasts more than 50 years of innovation, ranking among the top medical schools in the nation for research and primary care. Through the university's partnership with Banner Health, one of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the country, the college is leading the way in academic medicine. For more information, visit medicine.arizona.edu (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn).
About the University of Arizona Health Sciences
The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. The UArizona Health Sciences includes the Colleges of Medicine (Tucson and Phoenix), Nursing, Pharmacy, and the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the growing Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, the Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona and the greater Southwest to provide cutting-edge health education, research and community outreach services. A major economic engine, the Health Sciences employs nearly 5,000 people, has approximately 900 faculty members and garners $200 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information: uahs.arizona.edu (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn | Instagram).