What is it like working in health care? This summer at Mount Sinai and Bridgepoint, a group of high school students had the opportunity to find out first-hand. The students were part of the Summer Mentorship Program (SMP) in Health Sciences. Sinai Health’s Volunteer Resources Department is a partner in the program, which is run by the University of Toronto’s Office of Health Professions Student Affairs.
The program was created to address the under-representation of Black and Indigenous people within the health sciences by providing students the opportunity to explore potential career paths and make connections with health care professionals. Mount Sinai was one of the first hospitals to partner with the University of Toronto and has hosted more than 250 students since 2001.
Over the course of four days at Sinai Health, the students visited various areas of both hospitals, including Medical Imaging, Health Disciplines, clinical units, and the Surgical Skills Centre.
Deborah, a student from Toronto, is considering a career as a nurse practitioner, a doctor or a social worker. “This experience has given me a better understanding of nursing, of how much effort and work nurses do. And the importance of their role in not only providing care, but documenting information about the patient in the medical record. I also learned more about how nurses provide emotional support and the relationship they have with their patients,” she says.
All of the students in the program will be starting their final year of high school in the fall and making important decisions about their university applications and career plans. For these aspiring healthcare professionals, their time at Sinai Health has been a rewarding way to spend some of their summer vacation.
Joel, a student from the Greater Toronto Area, plans to pursue a career in medicine and wants to specialize in cardiology. “This experience has cemented my interest in this field and helped me to confirm that I’m comfortable being in a hospital setting, and I’m ready for the many years of training and schooling to come,” he says.
Although Deborah isn’t as certain which area of health care she’ll ultimately pursue for her career, “I have a clearer picture of where I’m going,” she says. “I know that I want to work in a hospital where I can interact with people and help them in any way I can.”