It happens every summer. Teenagers from all over the world who are interested in studying medicine flock to prestigious medical camps hosted by universities like Penn and Georgetown, only to find themselves listening to lectures and observing procedures and surgeries that are interesting, of course, but don’t exactly facilitate active involvement. So, while these camps are very informative and exciting in some ways, they are a disappointment in others.
Dive into a Public Health Project
We’re not recommending that hospitals begin allowing high school students to hold the scalpel. For teens who are interested in pursuing a medical career, however, finding a summer program that fits both their interests and allows for active participation is very difficult.
One solution to teens and families who find themselves looking for a summer option that is more hands-on, but still related to the medical field, is to find a program that focuses on public health outreach.
These programs are usually concentrated on a specific goal for a community in need, and involve projects that teenagers can clearly contribute to. Students may be volunteering at an understaffed rural clinic, working on public education initiatives, or participating in building activities that will benefit the health of a community. And, although these programs don’t feature state-of-the-art operating rooms or award-winning surgeons, they do offer the opportunity to make a real contribution to those in need.
Global Leadership Adventures offers public-health themed programs in Ghana, Peru, and the Dominican Republic, where students complete projects like building clean-burning stoves, helping to promote healthy eating habits, teaching communities composting techniques, and working in rural community clinics. These summer opportunities are a perfect fit for teens that are interested in the medical field but want to make a broader impact and travel to experience a completely different culture. To learn more about these programs, click here.