Tucson High Schoolers to Explore Careers in Medicine, Other Health Professions, Feb. 20

Local high school students will practice their health-care skills, such as CPR and ultrasound imaging, during “A Pathway to Success,” an interactive health-care career fair spearheaded by residents at the University of Arizona College of Medicine ­­– Tucson South Campus.

TUCSON, Ariz. – Hundreds of high schoolers from across Tucson will participate in a health-care career fair on Wednesday, Feb. 20, from 5–7:30 p.m. 

The semi-annual event is held to encourage teens to pursue careers in medicine or other health professions and is spearheaded by resident-physicians who work at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson South Campus.

The career fair will take place at Banner – University Medical Center South (2800 E. Ajo Way).

Now in its third year, “A Pathway to Success” will include interactive activities, such as hands-only CPR training, electrocardiogram — or heart monitor — demonstrations and medical mannequin intubation training, a process in which physicians place a tube into the breathing airway.

Roberto Swazo, MD, who helps organize the fair, said the event initially was geared toward underprivileged high schoolers in South Tucson.

“We wanted to inspire youth in South Tucson who may not have access to as many educational opportunities as others,” Dr. Swazo said. “But there has been a lot more interest than we anticipated, so now we are welcoming students from all areas of Tucson.”

In addition to participating in hands-on activities, teens will receive a behind-the-scenes tour of the hospital, which will include a visit to the emergency and pharmacy departments, radiology suites and operating rooms. Attendees also will hear from two homegrown Tucsonans who successfully pursued careers in health care: Sommer Aldulaimi, MD, assistant professor of family and community medicine, and Ilianne Lepro, MS-RN, a nurse at Banner – University Medical Center South.

Third-year internal medicine resident Daniel Orta, MD, said, “We want high school students from Tucson to know that if you’ve dreamt it, it’s possible! A lot of them are told `they can’t,’ and we want to open their eyes to the many possibilities available in the health-care field.”

“A Pathway to Success” is not just for those interested in becoming physicians. Nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists, medical assistants and other health-care providers will be present, sharing insight into their careers. 

“The event shows students that there are more health-care fields than just physicians and nurses,” said Gianna O’Hara, DO, a second-year internal medicine resident. “We feel that it is important to show students firsthand and have hands-on experiences to understand the ins and outs of health-care related fields.”

Counselors and recruiters from the UA will share information about applications, tuition and scholarships for individuals inspired to pursue an education in health care.

For the second time in its history, “A Pathway to Success” will offer one competitive $500 scholarship to a high school junior or senior in Pima County who plans to pursue a health-related career. The scholarship is sponsored by the Medical Executive Committee at Banner – University Medical South. Students can learn more and apply for the scholarship at the following website. The deadline for students to apply is Wednesday, Feb. 13.

“A Pathway to Success” is sponsored by the UA Health Sciences Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the UA College of Medicine – Tucson’s Office of Graduate Medical Education – South Campus and Banner – University Medical Center South Kino Kid’s Fund

This event is not open to the public.

About the UA 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


About Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and South

Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, nationally ranked as a Best Hospital by U.S. News and World Report, and Banner – University Medical Center South, are part of Banner – University Medicine, a premier academic medical network. These institutions are academic medical centers for the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson. Included on the two campuses are Diamond Children’s Medical Center and many specialty clinics. The two academic medical centers are part of Arizona-based Banner Health, one of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the country, with 28 hospitals in six states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming. For more information, visit www.BannerHealth.com/UniversityTucson or www.bannerhealth.com/UniversitySouth

Contact: Nadia Whitehead, 915-276-6803, nwhitehead@email.arizona.edu

Posted in AZBio News.