Minority and disadvantaged high school students can begin to prepare for careers in science and health care, get a summer job that pays, and earn a college scholarship through the Horizons in Medicine program at Wright State University School of Medicine.
Wright State is still taking applications for the 2001 Horizons in Medicine program, which is scheduled from June 21 through July 27. Students who have completed the junior year of high school are encouraged to apply. To request an application, contact the School of Medicine's Office of Student Affairs at (937) 775-2934. The application deadline has been extended to March 12.
Horizons in Medicine is designed to give students a sense of the career possibilities in health care and to show them the kind of serious preparation needed to enter such careers. Students spend mornings in classrooms and laboratories at Wright State, where they are introduced to subjects such as anatomy, biochemistry and physiology. They spend afternoons working in hospitals, nursing homes and community clinics affiliated with Wright State.
Horizons students earn stipends for afternoon work assignments. All students who complete the Horizons program receive one-year scholarships to Wright State University.
Horizons in Medicine is an example of the "pipeline" strategy to increase the number of minority doctors and scientists, according to Alonzo Patterson, M.D., assistant dean for student affairs at Wright State School of Medicine. "We work with students long before they reach college to prepare them in math and science. That way we prime the pipeline that leads to a career in medicine."
Now a pediatrician who practices in Huber Heights, Dr. Patterson participated in the first Horizons in Medicine program in 1979 when he was a student at Wilbur Wright High School. "I realized the impact Horizons made on me when I became a freshman in college. The chemistry textbook in college was the same one we used in Horizons in Medicine," he recalls.
"Students have to keep their eyes and ears open for opportunities like Horizons. Those opportunities may not be glamorous or star-studded, but if they help you get where you want to be, they're worthwhile," Dr. Patterson adds.
Few educational initiatives have stood the test of time as well as Horizons in Medicine, now in its 23rd year. Since 1979, a total of 405 high school students have completed Horizons in Medicine; approximately 94 percent of eligible students have entered college, and 79 percent of eligible students have graduated from college.