2016-11-25 / Health & Wellness

Hospital encourages future doctors


MEDICAL EXPERIENCE—Retired pediatrician and neonatologist Dr. Alvin Miller, a local leader of the Eve and Gene Black Summer Medical Career Program, fourth from right, presents Simi Valley Hospital with a plaque recognizing its role in encouraging young adults in the community to pursue medical careers. 
Photo courtesy of Simi Valley Hospital MEDICAL EXPERIENCE—Retired pediatrician and neonatologist Dr. Alvin Miller, a local leader of the Eve and Gene Black Summer Medical Career Program, fourth from right, presents Simi Valley Hospital with a plaque recognizing its role in encouraging young adults in the community to pursue medical careers. Photo courtesy of Simi Valley Hospital Simi Valley Hospital is the recipient of an award of recognition from a local physician for the hospital’s role in encouraging young adults in the community in their pursuit of medical careers.

For two weeks during summer break, 12 high school scholars watched their future unfold as they shadowed physicians, nurses, technologists and other medical professionals at Simi Valley Hospital.

The students — chosen for their interest in medicine, their scholarship, their leadership and the essays that they composed — are part of the annual Eve and Gene Black Summer Medical Career Program, sponsored for the past 47 years by the Los Angeles Pediatric Society. The students represent a number of high schools, including Royal, Simi Valley, Moorpark, Calabasas and Agoura.

‘Very grateful’

Alvin Miller, a retired pediatrician and neonatologist who is a local leader for the Medical Career Program, recently presented a plaque to Simi Valley Hospital for its continuing role in the program.

“The number of hospitals participating in the program has dropped considerably over the past few years, but Simi Valley Hospital continues to be extremely student-friendly and accommodating,” Miller said. “The students are very grateful to Simi Valley Hospital and love to go there because the entire staff is enthusiastic about teaching them, sharing with them and giving them a glimpse of the medical world.”

Life lessons

During the first two weeks of July this year, as in past years, the students experienced the work lives of medical professionals in a variety of Simi Valley Hospital departments, including the emergency department, cardiology, gastroenterology lab, radiology, the Child Development Center, orthopedics lab, pathology and other patient-care areas.

The students also interacted with hospitalists, which are physician specialists who work with admitting physicians to provide care for patients within the hospital.

The opportunity for the students to work with medical professionals in real-life situations “gets them involved in how to solve the problem for the health of the patient,” Miller said. “This teaches the students to not only be excellent doctors but to be empathetic toward the human needs of their patients.”

Already, many of the students are learning the important lesson of empathy.

“One student couldn’t get into a position to see the resuscitation of a patient in the emergency department,” Miller said, “so he went into the lobby, where he talked and prayed with her husband.”

The experience makes a significant and lasting impact on the students, Miller said.

“Students have said things to me like ‘This is the best two weeks of my entire life,’ ‘I’ve learned more about the medical world than I would have in class or even volunteering at the hospital’ and ‘This has really solidified my dreams and aspirations,’” he said.

“The Simi Valley Hospital staff has been superb at hosting the students, teaching, advising and showing them what the life of a medical professional is like. The students rave at the reception and exposure they get from physicians, nurses, techs and others,” he said.

Katherine Galos, another pediatrician who has worked with the Medical Career Program for 38 years, said, “Simi Valley Hospital is unique in that it has the culture of a small community hospital, which is slowly disappearing in the L.A. area, and they’re very outgoing, warm, accepting individuals. They’re very enthusiastic about seeing the students.”

For more information about the Summer Medical Career Program and application instructions, visit the website www.lapedsoc.org/summer.

This story was updated Nov. 29 to correct the spelling of Katherine Galos.

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