Summer Camp Inspires Kids to be Doctors

By: Garrett Wymer Email
By: Garrett Wymer Email

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FISHERSVILLE, Va. (WHSV) -- The United States faces a doctor shortage, but one hospital in the Valley is trying to cure that one kid at a time.

"I'm going to do this, but I'm going to let somebody else push the plunger when I put it into here, OK?"

Both middle schoolers' minds and hands are hard at work this week at Augusta Health's Career Explorers camp.

"I thought it would be something interesting to do over the summer, and it's something that could help me explore my options about what I want to do for my career," said Jessica Morrison, who will enter ninth grade this fall.

The camp comes at a critical time for careers in the health care industry. A study from the Robert Graham Center shows the U.S. will need 52,000 more primary care doctors by 2025.

"It's a field that's still growing. It's a field that, even with all our advanced technologies, still requires specifically a human touch. And it's a field that needs to serve people 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year," said Lisa Schwenk with Augusta Health.

"By the time I came back, I really knew what I wanted to do," said Helen Zak, who will also be entering ninth grade.

This is Helen's second time at the camp and she said learned last year that she wanted to be a pediatrician, "I just kind of got to know the hospital atmosphere and it just really helped me because I kind of like it."

"Someday after they go to school and finish their education, they might come back here and take care of me as I age," said Schwenk.

Although the camp used Skittles and not pills, for these kids, and maybe for the country, this hands-on experience at an early age is just what the doctor ordered.


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