Health Career Summer Academy Exposes Teens to Health Careers Early

By Colby Gallagher

Published on July 8, 2019

Health Career Summer AcademyYou can tell high school students about the importance of staying in school and attending college, or you can directly show them the opportunities available at a university. USciences did this by partnering with Main Line Health to offer a week-long Health Career Summer Academy to expose teens to careers in the health professions.

“The derived goal was to provide a one-week exposure to health careers during the summer for high school students from under-resourced high schools – for whom exposure to such careers would not only be educationally enriching, but would demonstrate the importance of staying in school,” said Barry D. Mann MD, chief academic officer at Main Line Health. “The idea was to bring the students to the college campus where they could interact with positive young role models who were themselves already excited about their own various career directions in healthcare.”

Some of those role models included Monica Taylor, PhD, CSCS, EP-C, director of the Exercise Physiology Program and assistant professor. Dr. Taylor hosted a session teaching the teens how to take certain measurements and what role exercise physiologists have in not only assessing a person’s current health, but determining a patient’s future risks as well. Over a dozen students from Paul Robeson High School for Human Services and West Catholic Preparatory High School attended the camp.

“The field of exercise physiology has a variety of options that can cover a wide range from performance to the clinical setting,” said Dr. Taylor. “So whether they imagine themselves working with elite athletes or heart transplant patients, an exercise physiology degree can set you up for success in both pathways.”

2019 Health Career Summer Academy

Exercise physiology was just one of the eight programs featured throughout the five-day academy that ended with a visit to Lankenau Hospital.

Kristin Motley PharmD, experiential education compliance coordinator and field supervisor for the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Administration, said there’s a critical need for African Americans and Latinos to pursue health careers and exposing students to these options was extremely rewarding.

“It’s great to have current USciences students and graduate interns who are also minority serve as counselors or mentors because they shared meaningful perspectives that were well received by the high school participants,” said Motley. “By the end of the program, several students shared that they felt more sure than ever which healthcare career they planned to pursue.”

The academy began as an extension of the Health Career Collaborative. Learn more about that program here.

Categories: News, Misher College of Arts and Sciences, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, Samson College of Health Sciences, Department of Kinesiology, Exercise Physiology, Department of Pharmacy Practice and Administration, Faculty, Community, West Philadelphia