Alexa Oppermann addresses incoming Medical Mentoring students on May 15, 2018.
“Medical Mentoring showed me what I want to do for a future career.”
-Alexa Oppermann, 2017 Medical Mentoring Student
Now that the school year is drawing to a close, select high school juniors are preparing for a new challenge: a 12 hour summer job shadow with local medical providers. The program, Medical Mentoring of the Fox Valley, enters its second decade of providing invaluable firsthand experiences that help students make educated decisions about their futures.
This year’s class is comprised of 120 students – from 15 area high schools – who have demonstrated a keen interest in medicine. That interest will be piqued during their shadowing experiences, as each student is paired with several providers based on preference.
Students spend three half-days observing mentors in their day-to-day work environments, including fast-paced clinical and surgery settings.
Mentoring professionals have included doctors, dentists, physician assistants, physical and occupational therapists, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, surgical techs, chiropractors, optometrists, orthotists, clinic business managers, and lawyers specializing in healthcare.
Co-directors Tammy Oppermann and Katie Olp said one of the challenges faced by the program is providing the breadth and variety of experiences requested by their charges.
“Students have high expectations of the program, which are set by previous graduates who share their experiences by word of mouth,” said Oppermann. “Fortunately, so many local providers are willing to step up, year after year, to make the program possible.”
Providing multiple experiences for the students makes a huge difference, says Olp.
“Many of our participants aren’t exactly sure what field they want to pursue,” she said. “Their Medical Mentoring experiences can provide direction.”
Such direction, said program founder Dr. David Eggert in his address to students at kickoff night, might be unexpected.
“You may just find out exactly what you don’t want to do,” he said. “But that’s a good thing.”
Job shadowing concludes prior to the August 8 graduation ceremony at Appleton North.
Heartfelt thanks go to all 28 providers for offering students the “opportunity of a lifetime” and making the 2018 program a reality:
- Advanced Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine
- Ascension Pediatrics
- Apple Creek Orthodontics
- Ear, Nose & Throat Surgical Associates
- Fox River Periodontics
- Great Lakes Orthotics
- Hand to Shoulder Center of WI
- Health Direct/Shopko Pharmacy
- Kaukauna Clinic
- Mosaic Family Health
- MotionWorks Physical Therapy
- Neuroscience Group
- NeuroSpine Center of WI
- Orthopedic Clinic of Appleton
- OSI – Surgery Center & MRI
- Partnership Community Health Center
- Pinnacle Cataract & Laser Institute
- Primary Care Associates of Appleton
- Recovery Inn, Managed by Eduro Healthcare
- Romenesko Family Dentistry
- Schubbe Resch Chiropractic & Physical Therapy
- Sports Medicine Center
- St. Paul Elder Services
- ThedaCare Pediatrics
- ThedaCare School of Radiologic Technology
- Urgent Care Physicians
- Valley Eye Associates
- Valley Orthopedic Clinic