Beyond a Shadow


Lola Duytschaver, Staff Reporter

The medical academy is a prominent program at our school; influencing students to pursue a future in the medical field. The program has a wide variety of opportunities open for students including shadowing, where students can go to a medical facility and observe any health profession they may be interested in.

However, this year due to Covid-19 many of the medical facilities that worked with students closed their program to prevent any health risks. For many medical academy participants both new and old this is a severe letdown. Old students lose the opportunity to further their prospective career choice through shadowing, while new attendants don’t even get the chance to try this program.

Fourth-year medical academy student Evan Reid expressed, “After volunteering at Sarasota Memorial Hospital I was disappointed to see our nation’s uptake in Covid cases that has led to seniors inabilities to shadow in person and have to resort to online opportunities.”

Reid just began his program with Sarasota Memorial over the summer, which fueled his passion for becoming an ER physician.

In comparison, junior Breya Sauls says, “I do wish shadowing wasn’t virtual this year so I could help people, but I think that virtual is better than no shadowing at all.”

Sauls, is a third-year medical student, and this year would have been her first year to experience shadowing. She was interested in practicing with a clinical nurse and “nonsurgical related things,” because as she states, “I’m scared of surgery! I really want to help people definitely not open on the table!”

Although the program is unfortunately postponed until further notice, the medical academy’s advisors developed a virtual format so students can still get a feel for shadowing.

Deana Hasbrooke, advisor and shadowing overseer, states, “At least the students have an opportunity to view medical professionals in their practice.”

Hasbrooke previously worked as an RN at Vanderbilt University International and understands the health risks that Covid presents. However, despite the loss of physical connection that the program once offered, the virtual format allows students to view medical professionals still while preventing any health risks.

While Covid implications postponed the program’s activities until further notice, alternative methods created by advisors and dedication from both new and old students revive the opportunity to shadow.