What are some of the different careers in the medical field? That was the question a panel of six medical professionals helped answer for Gibbons students during a 45-minute discussion that made up the second installment of the Illuminate Your Future (IYF) Speaker Panel Series, sponsored by Innovative Crusaders Understanding Business and Entrepreneurship or iCube.
The medical professionals, comprising Gibbons alumni and a Gibbons parent, consisted of representatives in the fields of dentistry (Lauren Steddum ’08), nursing (Melissa Zidar’09), pharmacy (Lauren Holesh Meekins’06), physical therapy (Justin Sullivan ’04), exercise physiology (Melissa Jacobs Bell ’02), and emergency orthopedic surgery/sports medicine (Shepherd Rosenblum, MD). Two Gibbons students – Morgan Pirozzi ’19 and Rob Treadway ’19 served as panel moderators.
While most of the panelists said that initially they were unsure of which area of the medical field they wanted to pursue, they offered the more than 50 student attendees some helpful advice and recommendations on ways to decide the field that best aligns with their interests. In describing the goal of the panel iCube Moderator Brent Nolan said: “Our thought was that it would be helpful and insightful for students to recreate some part of that decision-making experience in a panel discussion with several different speakers.”
To that end, students learned what sparked the panelists’ interest in the medical field, what changes have occurred in their respective fields, and who were some of their most influential mentors. The panelists, for their part, advised students that whatever area of medicine they pursue, they should be excited about and have a passion for it.
The panelists also said that high school is not too early to start thinking about a career in the medical field. Why? The answer varied. One was that students could prepare academically, both in high school and in college, with many of the panelists offering shoutouts to Gibbons educators who inspired them and helped them on their path to a medical career.
Starting in high school, the panelists added, also offers students the opportunity to explore various careers in medicine, as well as to participate in an internship, mission trip, volunteer, or shadowing program. To be sure, iCube helps facilitate many of those opportunities. Taking advantage of those opportunities, the panelists explained, will provide exposure to the world of medicine as well as the opportunity to work with medical professionals.
The added advantage to starting early, the panelists noted, is that not only will these preparations help you decide if a career in medicine is for you, they also will enhance your high school resume.
The focus of this second panel discussion in the IYF series was to showcase different professions in the medical field to our community, Nolan said, adding that the hope of the entire series is to create a consistent format but feature different subjects.
“What makes IYF so valuable is that we’re able to leverage our alumni, parent, and community network to bring people to Gibbons who have incredible experience in fields our students are interested in,” Nolan said. “We’re also filming our events and summarizing them in video so that we can hopefully share some of the wisdom with our community members who are unable to attend.”