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Carolinas HealthCare System is helping to expand a local program that exposes high school students to medical careers. CMC-Huntersville recently completed its first school year as a host of the Medical Explorers program, a career exploration program that offers students a firsthand look into the world of medicine.
The year-long program offered students an up-close look into several departments and procedures at the Huntersville emergency department and medical complex, including trauma, lab work and cardiac care. The Medical Explorers program has locations around Charlotte but was offered in the Lake Norman area for the first time this school year.
Monifa Drayton, administrator of CMC-Huntersville, oversaw the group of medical explorers at her facility. “We were proud to help bring such a fantastic program to the students in our area,” said Drayton. “Beyond a commitment to exceptional health care, it’s a great example of the investment we make in our community.”
Students from area high schools visited CMC-Huntersville regularly during the school year, donning scrubs and engaging with facility staff and physicians. The students also rotated through various departments at the University campus for the second half of program, visiting the hospital’s endoscopy, radiology and medical surgery units.
Drayton said students responded enthusiastically to the program. “It was a fantastic experience for them, as well as for us.” In addition to the Huntersville and University locations, four other Carolinas HealthCare System facilities currently participate in the Medical Explorers program: the campuses of Mercy, Randolph and Pineville, as well as Carolinas College of Health Sciences. The Explorers program is administered by the Mecklenburg County Council and Boy Scouts of America, and is open to all high school students across Mecklenburg County. The program is offered for a variety of career fields, including law, architecture, engineering and culinary arts.
With a successful year behind them, Drayton said the Huntersville campus plans to continue participating in the program. “It’s important to develop the next generation of healthcare leaders,” she said. “This is a great starting point for our next generation.”
View an article about the Medical Explorers program in Huntersville’s newspaper, The Herald Weekly