"The research has shown us the sooner they start to explore health care careers the better," said Rosalyn Campbell of NMMC Employment Services.
North Mississippi Medical Center has a number of employees and medical staff members who participated in the summer programs as students.
"You see the fire in their eyes," Campbell said, when they discover their passion for health care and taking care of people.
The Summer Health Academy for students in middle school and the Teen Volunteer program for high school students expose children to a range of health care professions.
"There's so many more opportunities than just nurses and doctors," Campbell said.
The Physician Shadowing Program for college students is focused on those heading to medical school, but rotates participants through a range of primary care and specialty areas.
During the Summer Health Academy, which will be June 6-10, students will tour several hospital units and participate in a number of hands-on learning opportunities.
The Teen Volunteer program, which runs June 1-July 13, offers teens a chance to help in a broad range of areas.
"Although no student can administer any form of direct patient care, they can certainly help with comfort measures for patients and also see how the hospital works," said Carla Enis, NMMC volunteer services director.
All of the programs are competitive, including the middle school summer health academy. Applications require information on grades and letters of recommendation. The volunteer and physician shadowing programs require interviews.
"We have more applications than slots," Campbell said.
The summer health academy has a $50 fee for materials, T-shirt and snack. The teen volunteer program has no cost. The physician shadowing program includes hourly compensation, lab coat and support materials.
- Summer Health Academy: For students who have completed sixth through eighth grade. Call (662) 377-3245 or download applications at
www.nmhs.net/youth_programs.php. Due April 15.
- Teen volunteer program: For students who have completed ninth through 12th grade. Contact Carla Enis at (662) 377-3131 or see guidance counselors for applications. Due March 31.
- Physician Shadowing Program: For students who have completed second year of college and intend to go to medical school. Call (662) 377-3245 or download applications at www.nmhs.net/youth_programs.php. Due April 20.