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UVA Hosts ‘Day in the Life of a Health Care Professional’ - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

UVA Hosts ‘Day in the Life of a Health Care Professional’

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High school students in central Virginia are exploring the diversity of health care careers. The University of Virginia's School of Medicine opened its doors Monday to deliver a dose of reality for teens contemplating a future in the field.

First-year UVA medical school student Chris Harris takes Andria Li on a guided tour to her future.

“I've always been interested in becoming a doctor and going to the medical health sciences area,” Li said.

The Western Albemarle High School sophomore explores the university's medical simulation center, where interactive dummies prepare doctors-in-training for real-life patient care.

The fifth annual Day in the Life of a Health Care Professional event introduces high school students to careers in life-saving service on their day off honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“We consider it a day of service - a day on rather than a day off,” said UVA School of Nursing assistant professor Joel Anderson.

Part of the shadowing shows students that health care professions aren't all spent with patients in the hospital.

“They're coming to learn not only about diversity in health care but the diversity of health care professions they may be interested in pursuing,” Anderson said.

The university hopes the hands-on experience helps guides students.

“I don't think you know what you're getting into until you're actually into it. So, this gives them a little opportunity to think of things maybe they haven't thought about before,” Anderson said.

For Li, witnessing a simulated heart surgery takes a little bit of the shock out of planning for her future.

A panel discussion on diversity and inclusiveness in health care followed the tours.

The university says students who've taken part in this day in the past have come back during summer break to work in research labs or explore educational opportunities at UVA.

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