Med Topics builds foundation for East’s future healthcare workers

East students enrolled in the Med Topics program visit Rush Copley three times a week during their elected block periods. 

Med Topics is a program that initially started at Oswego High School and was introduced to Oswego East shortly after the opening of the school. This year-long program provides seniors with the opportunity to get real-life medical experience. 

Starting the second semester of junior year, students are able to interview for a placement in this program. Scott Johnson, the teacher and coordinator for this program, is the one who conducts the interviews and selects the students for the course. 

Junior Dhairya Trivedi is currently in the interviewing process for this program and hopes to be one of the few students selected to participate in the course. 

“The interviewing process is a little intimidating,” Trivedi said. “They ask you a series of questions to get to know you and why you want to be in Med Topics and without this opportunity I would be losing some in school medical experience that most schools don’t offer.” 

The course is a two-block long class that runs during 7th and 8th periods. In the beginning, the program is focused on in-class studies, learning about anatomy and physiology. Moving into the second semester, the select eighteen students travel to the hospital three days a week to shadow doctors at Rush Copley and get real-life experience. 

Senior Jeet Patel, someone currently enrolled in the program, said the course offers perspective on life as a doctor and guides him in deciding whether or not being a doctor suits his future goals. 

“Shadowing all these nurses and doctors gives you connections in the field just because they’re educated and can offer insight on what they did to get to where they are,” Patel said. “It gives you connections and networking that you will never experience in your life.” 

Patel compares the experience to a real job and something only students with college internships would get to experience. 

“Going to Rush every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday is basically like a job, it gives you networking and many possibilities,” Patel said. “We have different rotations at different places in the hospital and switch off every two-to-three weeks.”

Although a strenuous course, Johnson said it is unique and a great opportunity for anyone looking to pursue a career in the medical field. 

“The program itself is unique. There aren’t many high schools that have a program in which you can get access to patients and to the physicians,” Johnson said. “Having the ability during the day to go into a hospital setting to see what it’s like is something that I think is beneficial to all students that get into the program.”

Grace Praxmarer is a staff editor for Oswego East’s online news magazine The Howl

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