Engaging Teens in Medicine

Earlier this year, about 65 high school students — participants in the Northwestern Medicine Discovery program — watched Feinberg medical students dissect human cadavers and then asked questions about what it’s like to study medicine.

“I enjoyed how the medical students were blunt, yet nice, when talking to us,” said Melissa Bueno, a student at Waukegan High School. During future weekend visits to Chicagoland hospitals, she and other teens will explore such specialties as pediatrics, emergency medicine and neurology.

The two-year program was designed to encourage students’ interest in the medical field. Relying on physicians, residents and medical students to volunteer their time, it began at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and is now growing steadily, expanding across Northwestern Medicine’s extensive network of hospitals in the Chicagoland area.

The mission of Northwestern Medicine Discovery is to create a pathway for the next generation of Northwestern Medicine leaders by drawing on the talents of the incredible team of healthcare professionals at Northwestern Medicine to provide STEM career exposure throughout two years of a student’s high school career. Throughout the two-year program, students are exposed to a broad range of activities designed to encourage their interest in healthcare careers.