Program helps Quakertown seniors decide medical career paths

Quakertown Community School District  |  Posted on

Sherry Casey, a St. Luke’s nurse and education specialist, at left, and high school counselor Erica Henry, right, stand with Medical Career Pathway students. In the front row, from left, are Julia Cressman, Shelby Daugherty and Sarah Godshalk. In the back row, from left, are Madison Cummings, Andrew Labeeb, Lizzie Maceri, Sydney Meese, Suzie Njunge, Tori Caputo and Mariana Olivares. Students in the program not in the photo are Gitza Padilla-Perez and Piper Yerkes.

A partnership between Quakertown Community High School and St. Luke’s Quakertown Hospital is helping students considering a potential career in the medical field.

The Medical Career Pathways program is designed to give high school seniors opportunities to learn about numerous aspects of the healthcare profession. Students are onsite at the St. Luke’s Quakertown Campus twice a week throughout the school year. A combination of lecture and clinical observation exposes them to major service lines and support services from surgery, radiology and lab services to the cafeteria, nursing and pharmacy.

“The MCP program has proved to be a valuable tool for students to help them determine their paths within the medical and health sciences field,” said QCHS counselor Erica Henry. “Each year we get more applications for the program due to the positive reputation it has earned. The students are so enthusiastic and focused. I only see the program continuing to flourish and grow in the future.”

MCP was one of the first programs David Finnerty started when he became QCHS principal. “It gives our kids insights into medical careers, and a competitive advantage,” he said. “I’m very thankful to St. Luke’s for all they do in this partnership.”.

Qualifying for this program is a challenge, as the students are among the district’s highest achievers. Suzie Njunge, for example, plans to study pre-med at Temple and ultimately become a pediatric neonatologist to help ill or premature newborns.

Her long-term goals are even more far-reaching. “I’d eventually like to work with Doctors Without Borders and open my own clinics worldwide,” Suzie said.

“This has been a really good opportunity for our class. We got to see all different types of medical specialties. And it’s not necessarily just about medicine. You might want to be a hospital administrator or case worker. This has been a great experience.”