Medical industry sources estimate that the United States faces a potential shortage of 150,000 doctors in the next 15 years. If true, that unwelcome proposition makes it more important than ever to encourage today's youth to pursue an education in medicine.
But how do we spark their interest?
A few years ago, Dr. Behnoosh Afghani had an idea. The UC Irvine pediatrics professor wanted to find a way to expose high school students to the medical school experience.
Her thinking wasn't entirely new. Plenty of colleges offer health-care themed programs for younger students.
But Afghani wanted to take the concept a step further by immersing the teenagers in realistic, hands-on training that might serve to whet their appetites for more.
Thus, the UCI School of Medicine's Summer Pre-med Program was born, and it's proving to be a stunning success and a model that other universities would do well to emulate.