Huntley High School’s Youth Medical Residency Program in partnership with Northwestern Medicine (formerly Centegra Health System) recently was featured in a story by WTTW – Chicago PBS.
The program, which launched in 2016-17 as the only of its kind in the country, has proven to be a success for both students and the health system. It is now being replicated by other schools, including McHenry East and West High Schools, which are partnering with Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital.
Graduates such as Zack Whitaker ’17, who are now pursuing health sciences at the post-secondary level, are providing positive testimonials about their experiences in the program. Whitaker told WTTW that the program gave him a “leg up” on his peers at Baylor University, where he is studying on a pre-med track. It also gave him the knowledge and confidence needed to pursue additional opportunities including a hospital internship, international medical service trip to Africa, and research leading to the discovery of a new bacteriophage.
Dr. Kumar Nathan, president of Northwestern Medicine Huntley Hospital, said the health system hopes to benefit from well-prepared graduates coming back to work in the community. He said he has heard from other graduates who are now pursuing careers in the medical field.
“They’re grateful for what they went through,” he said. “And I think those will probably be the people that end up back in our community and in maybe our hospitals.”