MedStart Program Sparks High School Students Interest In Healthcare

MedStart is a summer program aimed at developing the next generation of health care providers. It is hosted by the Montana AHEC (Area Health Education Center) and the Montana Hospital Association. MedStart provides opportunities for students to explore a variety of health care careers through simulation activities, which includes dissections, nursing simulation lab, dental assisting, health information technology demonstrations, mock disaster training/EMS, Cadaver lab and X-Ray activities. The program also sets up students with job shadowing opportunities at local facilities.

MedStart allows students to attend college-planning sessions to help plan out their college and career goals. Each regional AHEC office provides support to students that include college resources, financial aid updates, scholarships and connections to further job shadowing.

Karen, a supervisor of one of the students participating in the program, said, "I love to promote preparation for any career, but medical too. There are so many career options available that I worry our students are unaware of. We may be able to awaken their excitement for schooling and careers with some prior exposure and planning."

More recently there was a MedStart held July 19-22. This year's event was held online, and each registered student received a kit in the mail that was used for the activities scheduled. A student from Sidney High School, Burton Pollari, participated in this class and explained that the activities he performed through MedStart has influenced him to pursue a career in the medical field. 

Pollari said, "I have kind of always been interested in doing something related to the medical field, but this program has really helped give me a 360° view of what kind of careers are out there."

The goal of MedStart is to provide students - who may not otherwise have the opportunity - a chance to further explore healthcare careers and educates them on the large variety of careers available in the healthcare industry.

For more information on the program visit


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