More than 40 health care fields were represented at Medical Career Day — for students in grades five to 12 — last Friday in Malverne High School’s gym. At the daylong event, students were invited to explore disciplines such as nursing, emergency medical services, orthopedics, neurosurgery and health care marketing by speaking to professionals in the field. Howard T. Herber Middle School Principal Daniel Nehlsen introduced the idea to the district last year.
“When you look at all the advances the Malverne School District has gone through with the STEM program and our music program, one piece that I always wanted to expose the kids to is the medical profession,” Nehlsen said. “Northwell Health has been absolutely amazing throughout this process, and I think the kids are really getting a lot out of it.”
Malverne High Principal Dr. Vincent Romano said that when it comes to motivating students, one of the biggest challenges for schools is helping children find the connection between academics and future careers.
“When I hear Northwell Health, I always think of the medical field,” Romano said, “but they have so many different nonclinical departments. For us to expose our kids to that is awesome. Just like any other day, I hope each student gets motivated to want to be somebody, and it’s things like this that really make the connection to them.”
High school junior Yasmin Senior, 16, learned that there are many opportunities in the medical field, and that it is important for her generation to get involved. “Robots can do a lot,” she said, “but we, as humans, are always going to have the ability to help other people.” Senior, who added that many of the departments she visited seemed passionate about their jobs, wants to pursue a career in biomedical engineering.
High school senior Mackensdy Dormeus, 17, echoed Senior’s comments on the significance of working in the medical field. “I’ve learned that there’s many benefits and that it’s important for us to help people that are in need.” Another thing that Dormeus took away from Medical Career Day is the workers’ friendliness. “That’s important to connect with people you’re working with,” he said. “I feel like whatever you do, you just have to be yourself, find ways to help others and just have that positive mindset at all times.” Dormeus also said that he might look into becoming a health administrator.
Sponsor Northwell Health and Long Island Jewish Valley Stream host about 5,000 events each year for middle and high school students to expose them to the programs they offer. Matt DePace, regional director of community relations at Northwell Health, said that it is one of his favorite programs.
“If we can change the minds of a vast numbers of students about going into a different career, I know that we’ve made a difference in their lives,” DePace said. “That’s why it’s so important for us as an entity to show the community that we’re really supporting them in their efforts to stay healthy.”
Nehlsen hopes that through this event, students will realize the significance of excelling in all subjects. “We really believe that this will help students to continue on their path of academic success and that this shows them all the possibilities that their future can hold,” Nehlsen said.