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CoxHealth in Springfield is looking for the next generation of healthcare professionals to join its Medical Explorers program this fall. Medical Explorers is a world-wide organization for students ages 14 to 20 who are considering careers in medicine. KSMU's Megan Keathley has more on "medical exploring," and its legacy at Cox.
Just as there are Boy Scout "troops" in towns and cities all across America and the world, there are Medical Exploring "posts" sponsored by hospitals across the globe. The post at Cox prides itself on being the very first in the U.S. Established in 1968, Medical Explorers Post 229 has been giving junior high, high school, and college students an inside look at the healthcare industry.
Barth Fraker is a student volunteer coordinator as well as the current director of the Medical Explorers post at Cox. Part of his job is arranging for area healthcare workers to attend Explorer meetings as guest speakers. He says this part is easy; guests are eager to help because they remember when they were the ones in the student seats.
Medical Exploring is a program chartered by the Boy Scouts of America, through its Learning for Life career education program. There are also posts of Aviation Explorers, Engineering Explorers, and so on, each sponsored by an appropriate business or government entity in a given area. Exploring organizations are open to both males and females. Fraker says that for some of the younger members, volunteering at the hospital with the Medical Explorers is a way to get a first glimpse of the medical world when they're just starting to think about career options. For older members, it's a solid first step toward getting into med school.
Fraker adds that auxiliary groups contribute thousands of dollars each year toward scholarships for Medical Exploring alumni, because they view it as a solid investment in their communities. Former medical explorers who go on to achieve a career in healthcare often return to their home cities to practice.
The CoxHealth Medical Explorers will host an informational meeting to kick off the school year on Tuesday, September 2 from 7 to 9 PM in the Foster Auditorium at Cox South.