See what it's like to be an emergency room doctor. Spend an afternoon in the operating room. Run blood tests in the lab. These are some of the hands-on experiences available to Southeast Alaska high school students who participate in the weeklong VHOP at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka.
The goal of the program is to expose Native students from the rural communities to as many different health careers as possible. Students have an opportunity to "job shadow" with doctors, dentists, nurses, x-ray technicians, and a variety of other health professionals.
During their week in Sitka, the visiting students also see staff presentations on the basics of pursuing different health careers—everything from educational requirements to the pay scale for different jobs. Students are selected on the basis of their interest in the health field. The experience gives them a chance to evaluate their own strengths and see which jobs best suit them.
The program takes place each year in April. Interested students are encouraged to apply at the earliest possible time, since space is limited.