Local Program Encourage Students to Pursue Career as Physicians

The Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park implemented the program in Baldwin Park High School.

Thanks to the success of a program which mentors junior high school students  who are considering becoming a physician, Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park is now implementing the program with students at Baldwin Park High School.

The program called Hippocrates Circle Program (HCP), is the next step in bridging the gap for students who participated in the junior high program and who will hopefully enroll into college.

The program offers a phased approach. During freshman years tudents will participate in a Speaker Series provided by physicians and during sophomore year students will have hands-on experiences either in their school labs or as part of a medical center tour.

Once in junior year students will shadow Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park physicians, two days a week for eight weeks; and during senior year students will become mentors to the incoming freshman and together they will put on a health fair for their school.

Throughout the program, students will complete a journal and classroom assignments related to their experiences in the HCP program.

“We are excited that the HCP program has extended to high school students because it will help ensure that students who are interested in a health care career choice will continue on their path to achieving their goal,” says Mimi Cash, Instructor and Co-Coordinator, High School HCP, Baldwin Park High School.

Last December 3, Philip Mercado, MD, Chief of General Surgery, Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park Medical Center, kicked off the Speaker Series for nearly 90 students.

Dr. Mercado shared about his background, his role as the chief of service for General Surgery, and answered questions from students. He also provided a hands-on demonstration of select surgical equipment.

“I always knew that I wanted to be a doctor, even back in grade school,” explains Dr. Mercado. “My dad was an anesthesiologist and my uncle and grandfather were also physicians. I had a passion to care for others and knew that it was in my control to achieve my goal.”

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