Health Career Explorations Program (HCEP)

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Sometimes just applying can open up a world of possibilities.

Hershey High School senior Julia Corbin spends one or two hours everyday as an intern at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center. Thanks to the Health Career Explorations Program (HCEP), Corbin can experience the medical field upfront as a high school student and perhaps narrow her future job choices.

Everyday from periods 3 to 5AB, Corbin follows a different nurse from a variety of fields. The fields can range from ophthalmology, psychology, to music therapy. Corbin watches and takes notes while the nurse works with the patients. She also a seminar every Friday to learn about a specific field from a variety of doctors and researchers.

Corbin enjoys very much what she does as an
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Although the program is adventurous and exciting, there is an intense application process to be accepted into the HCEP program. The ten students that are selected must have exceptional grades, attendance, discipline, and trustworthiness. In addition, the applicants must write an essay explaining why they should be chosen for the program.

Along with the extreme application process, the program itself is rigorous as well. Everyday Corbin must write a page long personal learning journal explaining what she did that day. Along with the journal, Corbin must do a case study to present at the end of the program. This presentation is reviewed by doctors and the administration.

“It’s definitely challenging, but then again, so is being an actual doctor,” said Corbin.

Bonnie Ritchey, HCEP supervisor, agrees that this program is rigorous, but believes it is also tremendously beneficial. Corbin can narrow down her job choices in the first semester, and for the second semester she can shadow one specific doctor or nurse in the field she would like to pursue. This way, Corbin will not waste time or money in college because she will already know where her interests

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