Cody Dolloff – A Journey into the World of Healthcare
Ajunior at Lake Region Union High School, Cody Dolloff of Albany, Vermont isn’t exactly sure what he wants to do with his life. The one thing he does know is he wants to work in the world of healthcare.
“I really want to be able to help people,” Cody said while he and 19 other high school students from around the northern half of the state spent a day at North Country Hospital in Newport. They were part of a program called MedQuest.
Hosted by Northeastern Vermont Area Health Education Center ( AHEC), MedQuest gives 9th and
10th grade students the opportunity to explore countless careers in the healthcare field. During the week-long program, participants live in college dorms and travel to various healthcare facilities around the Northeast Kingdom. They learn about healthcare opportunities, shadow healthcare professionals, and learn what they need to do to fulfill their dreams. The program is led by staff with extensive clinical and health education experience. Supervision and leadership is provided by students from the UVM College of Medicine, who serve as assistant directors. During the week, the students also become certified in CPR and First Aid.
“Although it can be difficult trying to get everyone into the departments of their choice, it is so rewarding to listen to them at lunch say how enjoyable the morning session was, and how excited they are for the afternoon,” Rita Perrault said. Rita, who is the administrative assistant for Patient Care Services at North Country, assists MedQuest leaders with their needs as well as the students during the daylong stay at North Country. Watching the enthusiasm of the students as they go about their day, she said she wishes she’d had a simi- lar opportunity when she was in high school.”
Until three years ago, Cody said he had no idea what he wanted to do with his life after high school. However, he said that began to change three years ago with the birth of his little brother. Born with severe disabilities, Cody said his brother has spent months of his life hospitalized. He increasingly became interested in the healthcare field as he watched and learned while healthcare professionals met the medical needs of his brother.
“MedQuest has been worth it,” Cody said, adding it provided him the opportunity to learn about a variety of healthcare professions, some which he’d like to explore more, while others he found he has no interest in.
“I think MedQuest is a great opportunity,” Nancy Noble said as Cody changed into hospital scrubs preparing to spend time in the hospital’s Surgical Services Department. “It’s a great way to get high school students interested in healthcare.” Nancy is the Clinical Coordinator of the department.
“I am proud that North Country is able to be a part of this impressive program that helps these future leaders explore and experience the rewards that come with serving in the healthcare profession,” Claudio Fort, CEO, said. “This would not be possible without the assistance of many of our employees and physicians who have taken the time and effort to help provide these students with a positive and meaningful experience here at North Country Hospital.”
Hopefully many of the MedQuest students and their advisers will someday be helping meet the medical needs of Vermonters and other Americans.
Cody Dolloff of Albany was one of 20 MedQuest students to spend July 18 at North Country Hospital.
MedQuest students came from around the Northern half of Vermont.
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