By YooJin SHEEN, intern
Over 380 students flocked to the Crescenta Valley High School Annual Health Career Night on April 18. The event was hosted by the CVHS Academy of Science and Medicine, a three-year career pathway program implemented within the school’s curriculum that gives students the opportunity to take numerous classes specifically targeting the medical field.
Health Career Night is an event that offers students the chance to get in-depth information on occupations in the health and medical fields. Speakers who work in various health and science positions ranging from chiropractors to pharmacists and specialized doctors to research professors shared their professional experiences with students. During the allotted 20-minute presentations, each speaker spoke about what his or her job entails and the influence their specific job has in the healthcare field. The professionals told the students about the specific educational requirements for each profession, the future outlook for the job, and the positive experiences of their occupation. After each presentation, students had the opportunity to ask questions, giving students a chance to gain insight into areas of interest.
Dr. Khodam Rostomian, one of the guest speakers, is an ophthalmologist practicing with Kaiser Permanente for 18 years. When asked about the skills required in his profession on a day-to-day basis, he stated that his job was “to be patient with our patients.” Then he discussed the specifics of what his job entailed: he takes care of patients’ eye conditions which limit their sight and require surgical or medical intervention such as cataract surgery, laser surgery for glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy or macular degeneration. He also treats many children with strabismus (deviation of the eyes).
This led to another question regarding challenges the job can present.
Rostomian replied that one challenge was “[having] to manage your time and making sure that you do adequate documentation in the electronic medical record.” He added, “[It] is fun to see patients and treat them, operate and restore their eyesight, but most of us find it very challenging to spend so much time on documentation and billing records.”
The evening presented both the students and the professionals with an opportunity that was not only enlightening but also inspiring.
“I think many of us say we want to be doctors or pharmacists, but we never really get the opportunity to actually speak to a doctor or pharmacist,” Academy Fundraising officer Natalia Emmanuel said. “Health Career Night gives us that unique experience to speak to the professionals one-on-one.”
The speakers also expressed their pleasure in being given the opportunity to connect with the students and share the importance of their roles in the healthcare industry.
“I enjoy [Health Career Night] very much, it reminds me of my high school years when I was looking for mentors to help me better understand my future career,” said Rostomian. “I think CVHS students are so fortunate to have such a caring and great faculty and teachers who take time to organize this great Health Career Night. I hope students enjoy it as much as their guests and learn from them.”