COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — High schoolers in Southern Colorado now have a unique learning opportunity with Children’s Hospital of Southern Colorado.
It is called MC2 which is short for Medical Career Collaborative.
London Geditz, a junior at Lewis Palmer High School, just got her MC2 uniform.
“There's more than I thought I would be able to do in the program. It's 50% hands-on. That's like their goal. And then like, 50% of just like doing other work around the hospital.”
Geditz, who likes biology class, is in the inaugural group of high school hospital interns in Colorado Springs.
“I’m going to be shadowing a doctor in the med/surg area,” Geditz said. “If I want on [my] days off, I can go to another area, so I could shadow a surgery.”
The education opportunity provided by the hospital is also an investment in future medical workers.
The program started in Denver and just expanded to Southern Colorado.
“A physician that's started back at our Denver emergency department who was part of the program over 10 years ago, she's come back. and she's also, you know, helped sponsor our future students,” Arnold Butiu, a vice president with Children’s Hospital Southern Region, said.
MC2 is also a get-paid-to-learn opportunity.
“They're paid while they're here. They choose an area that they are interested in and we provide kind of sponsorship in those areas or observations. In some places they're allowed to do some work,” Butiu said.
A major goal of the program is to build and retain a healthcare workforce that reflects a range of languages, cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds.
It is something studies have shown can help patients.
“Our patients want to see people that look like them or come from backgrounds like them,” Butiu said.
For the young interns, the program real-life experience extends beyond their biology class.
It just gives me a better understanding. So I get to understand it on a deeper level,” Geditz said.
The application process for the 2024-2025 group of MC2 interns is open. Applicants must be current high school sophomores in El Paso County. March 6, 2024 is the deadline for submission.