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COPE program helps medical students reach their career goals

Courtesy of Cope Health Scholars Program

Courtesy of Cope Health Scholars Program

Valerie van den Broek, Features Editor

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City College students interested in pursuing a medical career have a unique opportunity for hands-on experience through the COPE health scholars program, a program helps students earn their clinical hours, or determine if they want a career in the medical field.

“This program is a good investment and definitely helps students to decide where to go for the rest of their lives,” said Charissa Brown, regional manager of the program.

Students work four hours per week in the hospital, including patient care with program lengths varying from 15 months to eight weeks.

Students need to be 18 or older, enrolled at a college or university and available for at least one four-hour shift per week to join the program.

“It’s really cool to get that patient care experience,” said Sierra Turk, a City College student who joined the program. “I feel so much more comfortable talking to patients. Going into nursing school, I already have that experience.”

Students are assigned “little tasks” around their department such as feeding and bathing patients.

According to Turk, this program is more interesting than others since students can work with patients more frequently and with a rotating system.

Students rotate through departments every three months after completing 48 hours in the each department. This system makes students see the different fields of medical care and get to have the full experience.

“I like that we can switch every three months to a different area in the hospital,” said Lindsey Raymond, a City College student who joined the program. “It’s really helping me figure out what I want to do in the future.”

Raymond said she enjoys the interaction she has with nurses and the “tips and tricks” she learned from them.

The program is available in California, Washington and Hawaii.

Students who are unsure if they want to pursue a career in the medical field are welcome to join the program.

“If you’re unsure, this program will help to gain a better understanding,” Brown said.

After completing all 280 work hours, students will receive a completion certificate from UCLA’s Executive Programs in Health Policy & Management.

“It’ll look really good when you apply to other schools,” Turk and Raymond said.

COPE offers other programs besides the Health Scholar. High school students can sign up for the Junior Health Scholar where students can shadow mentors. The International Health Scholar program is also available for international students.

Brown urges students to apply and not make the same mistake she did.

“My biggest regret is that I wasn’t able to join the program when I was younger,” Brown said.

Tuition varies from $200 to $500 exclusive application fees and the application deadline can be found here.

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COPE program helps medical students reach their career goals