Students Explore Medical Careers

Students learn about a potential career in surgical technology from Michelle, who works at South Shore Hospital.

Sarah Ryan, Editor in Chief

Juniors and seniors from Holbrook Middle-High School heard from several medical professionals through a forum sponsored by the School to Careers partnership. On September 27, students traveled to Milton High School with Mrs. McDonough-DeFilippo to learn about careers in the medical field. Each student was assigned to two of the six potential panels, listening to short presentations from those who specialize in nursing, nutrition, radiology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, home care, etc.

Students started their day listening to the keynote speakers, Richard Fernandez and Faye Weir. Fernandez is the President and CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Milton. Fernandez asked the students to raise their hands, first if they knew exactly what they wanted as a career, then if they thought they might know or had absolutely know idea. This allowed him to come to the conclusion that two-thirds of the audience was unsure about their future careers, Fernandez reassured them, saying that he thought he was going to a professional baseball player when was growing up. He also mentioned that “your college major doesn’t have to define your career choice,” before explaining the twists and turns of his career path. He concluded his speech with advice that his father had given him, saying, “You have until you’re about thirty to figure out what you really want in life.”

Faye Weir, Director of Parent and Child Services at South Shore Hospital, was  the other keynote speaker. She shared her own advice for pursuing a career in medicine, but said it could be applied in a broader context. She told students, “Find a mentor. You’ll need someone that has your best interests at heart, but you also need someone who is going to really be honest with you.”

Aside from the main topic, medical careers, one of the major themes for the event was that it’s okay to be unsure. Jean, a nurse from South Shore Hospital, told students that “You can become anything you want at any age.” Before becoming a nurse, Jean started her career as a surgical technologist. When speaking to the students about her educational path, she said “You’ll always be able to use the education that you get, no matter what you do. None of it will ever be wasted.”

Kate, another nurse from South Shore Hospital, reminded the students not to give up. She said that she never thought she could become a nurse because she wasn’t good at chemistry. Later, she realized that “nursing is both a science and an art.”

Michelle, a surgical technologist, said that she loves her job because she “can work in every service.” With her position, she works in the operating room for cases in pediatrics, trauma, orthopedics, gynecology, plastics, and others. She says that her career is both challenging and rewarding because it’s “life and death within minutes.” She also mentioned that her advice for the medical field really applies in all aspects of life – “You need to know when to be helpful, but also when to get out of the way.”