Montana Health News

Jun 24, 2013 3:03 PM by Brin Merkley - KPAX News

UM camp aims to ease health care workforce shortage

MISSOULA - Health care professionals say that Montana, as well as the nation as a whole, is facing a health care workforce shortage. But the weeklong MedStart camp hopes to help stem that tide by showing high school students a variety of health science fields.

Thirty high school juniors and seniors from all across Montana are attending presentations at the University of Montana that revolve around health science. Students are being exposed to a range of potential career paths, from anthropology to pharmacy to herbal medicine.

K-12 program coordinator Martha Robertson says eight of the nine seniors who attended MedStart last year ended up in the Montana University system.

"We have students who think they want to go into nursing or neurology or primary care, and then they do their job shadows at the various facilities, we have 10 local facilities that help us out. They go to somewhere like Pruyn Veterinary and find out they love working the dogs. They change their complete career path because they had no idea that was part of the health sciences," Robertson explained.

Robertson says nearly 200 students applied for the 2013 MedStart programs, which are also hosted in Great Falls and Bozeman. She added that priority is given to rural, first generation college students with high recommendations.

The program finishes up with a celebratory luncheon on June 28. Click here to learn more about MedStart.

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