FIRST CLASS LOOK
Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 4, 2016
4 medical hopefuls shadow professionals
Four local college students spent time this summer exploring possible medical careers through a job shadowing program at Andalusia Health.
Chris Evers, a rising Auburn University junior majoring in biomedical science, said he believes he’ll “definitely train for the OR” after spending time shadowing local surgeon Dr. Tim Day this summer.
“To be honest, I’ve found I’m more interested in the anesthesiology side of it,” Evers said. “But the intensity of the operating room is fun.”
“Intense,” “deft,” and “totally focused” are words Evers and three other students – Daniel Henderson, Hampton Glenn and Michael McCalman – all used to describe working with Dr. Day.
McCalman, who grew up a doctor’s son, said most everyone who aspires to become a doctor understands what it’s like to be in a patient room talking to a doctor.
“It was important to me to spend some time behind the scenes, understanding what (a career) would entail,” he said. “One of the biggest things that struck me is the time and skill it takes. Not just anyone can walk in and do it. Dr. Day is really great about explaining everything he’s doing, and why.”
McCalman, also a junior biomedical sciences major at Auburn, said another of his observations is the absolute coordination needed to make an operating room run smoothly.
Glenn, a University of Alabama sophomore majoring in biology, said he first began considering a medical career as a middle school student after completing a science project on medical careers. He previously thought he’d like to be a pediatrician, but now is considering general surgery.
“I like to work with my hands, and I like to fix things,” Glenn said. “I feel like I could do that in this field. As a general surgeon, you always see something different, and it’s exciting every day.”
Glenn is particularly interested in returning to his hometown to practice medicine, and that’s one of the long-range goals of the job shadowing program, Andalusia Health CEO John Yanes said.
“One of our high five guiding principles is to be a leader in our community,” Yanes said. “We feel like this is an opportunity to help bring folks back.
“As a hospital, we like to showcase what it s that we do,” he said. “Students get a good idea of what exactly a day would be like. It might give them incentive to say, ‘Yes, this is what I want to do,’ and maybe they will want to come back and work here.”
Henderson also is considering a medical career, and shadowed both Day and local dentist Dr. Bob Burkhardt this summer. Henderson, who has planned to pursue a career in medicine since he was a kindergarten student, said he’s still deciding which field of medicine to pursue.
“I’ve always felt drawn to a medical career,” he said. “My sister, Anna, is a PA in Jasper. I’ve really enjoyed what she’s done up there.”
Henderson said he likes the idea of helping to heal someone and of comforting a family.
“I think I’ll continue to shadow doctors,” he said. “I’ve always heard how quick and precise Dr. Day is in surgery. He can remove a gall bladder in 15 minutes, and he is extremely precise. It has been cool to get to know him.”