Healthcare delivery accounts for 7% of the economy in the state of Washington and over 13% of jobs are related to health care and education. Most counties in Washington are medically underserved, with less than half the number of physicians needed to meet the needs of the population. These statistics point to both the need for more health care professionals and the opportunity for students interested in health care careers. The goal of the outreach office is to create opportunities for students to gain an understanding of health care fields through hands-on experiences and career-connected learning.
Youth will be exposed to many healthcare careers through engaging hands-on skills workshops and other active learning opportunities. We also emphasize development of key personal attributes in students including leadership skills, interpersonal skills, resilience, teamwork and collaboration.
Our medical students all have strong connections to Washington state. Many of these students are from small, rural communities. Having medical students model their chosen field to middle and high school students, helps young students visualize themselves in these health care roles. These interactions are particularly impactful when medical students are first-generation students, are from a culturally diverse background, or took a non-traditional path to medical school. At our engagements we bring a combination of medical students, physician faculty, and other health career faculty/student combinations, so that young students can begin to see themselves in these roles.
Stevens County Mentorship Program
Designed to serve seventh through ninth graders in four school districts (Chewelah, Valley, Springdale and Wellpinit) in Stevens County, Washington, the program introduces kids to health careers in the seventh grade, then provides mentorship through their eighth and ninth grade years along with health science curriculum.