Dr. Betty Chu, chief medical officer at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, speaks April 18 at the hospital’s closing ceremony for the medical mentorship program.

Dr. Betty Chu, chief medical officer at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, speaks April 18 at the hospital’s closing ceremony for the medical mentorship program.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Medical Mentorship brings students into the world of health care

By: Maddie Forshee | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published April 24, 2018

 About 60 West Bloomfield High School students took part in the program.

About 60 West Bloomfield High School students took part in the program.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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WEST BLOOMFIELD — After a year of shadowing at the hospital, a group of high school students are set take on the world of medicine.

On Wednesday, April 18, a cohort of students from West Bloomfield High School completed a medical mentorship program through Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital. 

Students visited the hospital throughout the school year to get firsthand experience and to learn from doctors in different departments of the hospital. 

“We really want to do as much as we can to interact with the community,” said Betty Chu, chief medical officer for Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital. “We really view ourselves as a community asset, so if we can get young people excited about health care, that’s why we partner with the high school.”

The students have the chance to shadow physicians, tour the hospital and learn more about the health care field. 

“(WBHS) has a very robust shadowing program and mentoring program with the hospital,” said Chu. “What we’ve transformed that into is to expand the opportunity for students to visit multiple clinical services in the hospital to get experiences with physicians and the entire medical care team.” 

The medical mentorship program was started 17 years ago by a doctor at the hospital and a former biology teacher at WBHS, said Christen Sturgill, who now oversees the mentorship program at WBHS.

“The most important aspect of the program is actual shadowing experience,” said Sturgill. “Students are able to see doctors interact with patients and, in some cases, solidify choices about their interests.”

Sixty students went through the mentorship program this year. Each student is required to log 60 hours of shadowing and to keep a journal of their experiences. The hospital provides about 30 in-depth workshops throughout the year that students can opt to attend ranging in topic from OB/GYN to pharmacy. 

A completion ceremony April 18 at the hospital featured a panel of physicians talking about their journeys to becoming doctors and answering questions.

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