Doane holds first Pre-Health Boot Camp

Students who participated in the first pre-health boot camp

The College to Career Center recently hosted the first ever Pre-Health Boot Camp at Doane, allowing students interested in pursuing a career in healthcare to receive specialized education, gain exposure to local healthcare facilities, and network with peers, faculty, advisors, and healthcare professionals over a two-and-a-half-day period. 21 students participated in the boot camp, which ran from January 10-January 12. 

“Initially I am very happy and pleased with the outcomes of the boot camp,” said Sarah Collins, director of the College to Career Center. “For the students, it was a great opportunity to get some self-reflection. I think it will help us be better advisors and professors.”

The College to Career Center had previously held a Health Careers Week and Health Careers Day in years past in an effort to help pre-health students identify what area of healthcare they want to go into and better position themselves for the application process, but it was held during the academic year, which made scheduling difficult. Collins says her staff came up with the boot camp idea to provide meaningful education and experiences to students over multiple days, with the hope that they would be long, informative sessions that would yield results.

“We wanted to expose our students to more health careers but also provide them with a more realistic expectation of what they need to do during their time at Doane to be a successful applicant after receiving their undergrad degree,” Collins said.

The feedback from the students who participated has overall been very positive to this point.

“I had a wonderful experience and learned a lot,” said Nicholas Stolze ’19, a biology major interested in pursuing a career in optometry. “I think the biggest takeaway after the three days was that there is so much that goes into landing a job in healthcare, from interviews and letters of recommendation to finances and test preparation. It really takes a dedicated student to get into the career field of their choice.”

Some of the highlights of the boot camp included visits from practitioners and professionals at Crete Area Medical Center to lead Q&A sessions with students, tours at CAMC and Beatrice Community Hospital and Health Center, and sessions to prepare students for interviews into professional school and how to handle finances as a med student.

Fun, de-stress activities were also held during the evenings, including a dinner with alumni, a visit to Escape Room Lincoln, a yoga session, and movie night. Although this boot camp cut into the end of winter break, Josiah Oyebefun ’18, a biochemistry major, said attending the boot camp was well worth it.

“I chose to attend because I saw this as a great initiative by the university to better support their students going into this competitive field,” Oyebefun said. “I was able to ask specific questions to the invited guests about the medical field that had plagued me for some time. These sessions not only motivated me to pursue a career in healthcare, but gave me an even more realistic understanding of the field.”

Participation in the boot camp was free of charge for the students and their meals were paid for. Students also received a Pre-Health Boot Camp hoodie and had the ability to complete a Gallup strengthsfinder test to discover what they naturally do best and to learn how to develop their greatest talents.

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