Mariemont High School juniors Emma Worple, Grace Haffner and Fiona Kane were selected to participate in the TAP MD program, which is open to current high school junior students.
According to the Health Collaborative website, “TAP MD is a program of Cincinnati MD Jobs at The Health Collaborative, designed to help exceptionally talented high school students ‘tap’ into their potential to fulfill careers in medicine.”
“I thought this would be a great opportunity to meet other students who are interested in the medical field and talk to them about the specialties they’re interested in because they all have different ideas of what they want do,” said Emma. “This program is giving me so much to consider and is opening my eyes to other ideas for the direction of my career.”
The selection criteria for this program are extremely selective, and many schools in the tri-state region do not have any applicants selected to participate.
“This year is our most competitive class ever; 60% of students who applied were not able to make the class,” said Heleena McKinney, TAP MD program coordinator. “We are expanding the program to include more experiences this year and to document the students’ time. Moreover we have been working with each site location to improve the current experiences to make them the best ever. All in all, it’s an exciting time to be in TAP MD.”
Through the program, the students have the opportunity to watch surgeries and procedures, shadow doctors and specialists, interact in a surgery simulation lab, among other activities and experiences.
“I want to go into the medical field and I researched different things I could do to gain some experience and knowledge and came across this program,” said Emma. ”I saw Grace [Westfall] on the list of last year’s participants and talked to her about it. She convinced me it was a great opportunity that would open me up to more experiences, and I’m happy I took her advice to submit my application.”
Grace Westfall, a current Mariemont High School senior, participated in the program last year, as the first Mariemont High School student to participate in TAP MD.
“I’ve always wanted to go into the medical field in some capacity and I wanted to figure out what I was really interested in and what my options were because there is so much I want to do,” said Grace. “I was happy to get accepted to the program so I could see doctors in their settings and make a more informed decision. I loved all of the hands-on experience and actually seeing how the body works.”
Grace plans to attend Vanderbilt University and follow the pre-physician assistant track and possibly major in Medicine, Health and Society. She feels like her experiences in the TAP MD program helped her prepare for life after high school.
“It was great to be in a program with all of these exceptional students from other high schools,” said Grace. “I didn’t know a soul, and to be able to objectively find out from my peers what they’re most interested in doing was inspiring. There are so many high school students who are so passionate about the medical field and know what they want to do, and I feel fortunate I had the experience to interact with them.”