'Scrubs Camp' Aims to Put Minnesota's Doctors of the Future on Right Path

Updated: 07/23/2014 6:17 PM
Created: 07/23/2014 2:32 PM
By: Josh Rosenthal

This is not your typical summer camp. You won't find any baseballs or footballs. You will, however, find a bunch of really smart kids.

It's all part of HealthForce Minnesota's Scrubs Camp. The goal is to take high school students, like 17-year-old Jessica Sawaki, and at a very young age, put them on the path to a health care career.

"I want to be a doctor someday," she said, "and this is a great experience so why not try it?"

The camp, which is being held on St. Paul College's campus, is hands-on. Students learn CPR, how to hook a patient up to an IV, how to deal with various injuries, and they even take turns walking around in aging suits, which simulate the physical effects of aging. It's a way to teach health care, developed with high schoolers in mind.

"We are not miraculously well and we haven't stopped getting old,” explained HealthForce Minnesota's Valerie DeFor. "So we know there is a need for a future health care workforce, and we want to have the best workforce that we can."

So far, so good with Sawaki. Now she wants to be a doctor more than ever, and that just might be a good thing for the rest of us.

"Maybe someday I might save your life," she laughed, "you never know."

There are now three different Scrubs Camps around Minnesota. The first one started at Winona State University in 2008. Altogether, hundreds of students now participate every summer.

Minneapolis/St. Paul

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