High School students shadow the professionals


Six High School seniors were selected to shadow medical professionals at North Shore University over their summer breaks. 

High School seniors Kayla Bennett, Anthony Byron, Ayanna Gouldbourne, Olusegun Olatunbosun, Adina Turner, and Darien Ward were selected out of a total of 23 candidates after an extensive application process for the North Shore University Hospital Short-Term Shadowing Program, which took place for the entire month of August

Northwell created the program to expose the high school students to various careers in healthcare over their summer break and were allowed to focus on up to two specialty areas for a total of 40 hours. The areas of study included are Engineering, Human Resources, Nurse/Registered Nurse, Nurse Practitioner, Occupational Therapy/Physical Therapy/Speech Therapy, Patient & Family Centered Care/Patient Experience/Guest Services/Community Partnerships, Pharmacy, Physician Associate, and Physician/Surgeon.

To be considered for the program, students had to submit an application, a completed recommendation form, as well as a 250-word essay describing why they were interested in participating and what they hoped to gain from the experience.

“While shadowing in Pharmacy, I got to see how medications are packaged, sorted, and sent out to different parts of the hospital,” said Kayla Bennet, Baldwin High School student. “I also got to see how Dr. Choi of Northwell, interacted with patients and other medical professionals. It was interesting to see how pharmacy professionals worked behind the scenes to get patients their medications.”

Darian Ward shadowed doctors in the ICU Palliative Care Unit. “In the operating room, I witnessed the removal of a gallbladder. The surgeons used a camera attached to the end of a probe to enter one of the newly created tube holes in the Gastrointestinal area. There were numerous tubes in the abdomen that allowed many sophisticated tools to enter and perform the surgery,” explained Ward, who plans to become a physician one day. 

“It was amazing to see the surgeon’s skill with the tools and how the surgery required a large team to complete. It was an amazing experience overall and I was glad to have been chosen to be a part of it,” said Ward.

Adina Turner spent her August in the Radiology Department of North Shore University Hospital. She said her experience, “made me realize that mechanical engineer can open a lot of opportunities I would be interested in and how I can create a crossover of both the STEM and Medical field.” 

The school district said the program proved to be another rewarding hands-on learning opportunity through the district’s partnership with Northwell Health and students walked away with a better understanding of the healthcare industry and an expanded professional network.