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From Med Club to Med School–York students prepare for new club

Gomez+pictured+in+February+at+Mini+Medical+School+delivering+a+baby+with+the+help+of+Dr.+Rubin.
Gomez pictured in February at Mini Medical School delivering a baby with the help of Dr. Rubin.

Gomez pictured in February at Mini Medical School delivering a baby with the help of Dr. Rubin.

Photo Courtesy of Chloe Gomez

Photo Courtesy of Chloe Gomez

Gomez pictured in February at Mini Medical School delivering a baby with the help of Dr. Rubin.

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The first time Chloe Gomez (junior) stepped into the ER she just about died of fear.  Her heart raced, hands sweat, and legs trembled as she walked into the fast-paced hospital, a stressful place that she did not want to be. Ever. As a child, she detested medicine and never saw a future in it, even remembering back to a time when she specifically told her mom in the car that she would never be a doctor. Little did she know, as she got older, she became more exposed to the field, and her interest only grew, resulting in a recent effort to start a new club called Med Club.

“I formed the idea of starting a medical club when I was looking through York’s club list so I could see if I should join anything next year,” Gomez said. “I noticed that my, and many others’, passion, medicine, wasn’t on the list, and I simply wanted to change that and see that subject offered.”

She plans to bring the club to York as soon as second semester, with the help of a yet-to-be-determined sponsor. Gomez describes Med Club’s mission as exposing kids to new areas of medicine, bringing kids with the same interests together, as well as helping students look into the field for possible future career paths.

“The goal is to have monthly before school meetings for announcements and reminders and monthly after school experiences such as fundraisers, guest speakers, medical center tours, etc,” Gomez said. “Since there are so many areas in the medical field I would love to find students whose parents are EMTs, dentists, doctors, vets, etc. to speak about their field and how they arrived where they are to today.”

The club is currently still in search of a sponsor and according to Gomez, since the club will tentatively start second semester, there is still time to approach teachers who might have time in their schedules to sponsor Med Club.  

Gomez’s past experiences in medicine include volunteering at Edward-Elmhurst Health at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital doing many different jobs, multiple times per week.

Photo Courtesy of Olivia Brunke
Chloe Gomez volunteering at a snack booth at Edward-Elmhurst Hospital in December.

“My shifts at the hospital vary, but I mainly work in the Center for Health (CFH), Family Birthing Center (FBC), and in nursing,” Gomez said. “In the CFH, I check people in and teach them how to use our new computer system. In the FBC, I bake cookies with a couple friends and deliver them to the rooms of newborn moms. In Nursing, I just help out with simple tasks the nurses don’t want to do.”

Volunteering at the hospital has had a big impact on her wanting to start this club at York and she plans to continue with the program for the next few years.

“Volunteering at the hospital gave me the opportunity to meet new people that were interested in the same career field as I am,” Gomez said. “I want to offer the same experience to students at York.”

Photo Courtesy of Olivia Brunke
Juniors Chloe Gomez and Lily Kraus pass out baby hats to new moms and provide activities for new siblings while volunteering at the hospital.

In addition to volunteering at the hospital, Gomez attended Dr. Rubin’s Mini Medical School this past school year.

“Mini Medical School is a program run by a pediatric doctor in Naperville,” Gomez said. “Students fill out applications in the fall and go through first cuts, interviews, and then final cuts, which was probably one of my most stressful experiences. This program helped me explore different areas of medicine and I even got to ‘deliver’ a baby in front of the class which made me fall in love with obstetrics.”

She hopes to spark this same feeling with the members of the club and inspire students to kickstart or further their curiosity in the different fields of medicine.

“I really want the members to be able to get something out of this experience,” Gomez said.

Photo Courtesy of Chloe Gomez
Chloe Gomez pictured in February at Mini Med School.

Students at York already seem to be getting excited for the potential club.

“I want to be a nurse and help people,” Lily Kraus (junior) said. “I think this club will look good on college applications and for nursing schools, but I think it would also be a great way to learn more about all medical career paths and such.”

As well as looking good for colleges and learning more about potential careers, students think that Med Club would be a beneficial addition to the school.

“I would join the club because York doesn’t have any clubs like this, and it seems interesting,” junior Annalise Soldano said.  

Hannah Hughes (junior) also agrees that Med Club can positively impact the school and the students interested in pursuing medicine in the future.

“A medical club is nothing like York has club wise and it offers those interested in the medical field to show their love for it without the exclusivity of Med Careers,” Hughes said.

Not only do students think the club will be rewarding for the school’s community, but the staff does too.

“I think anytime we can provide a place where students have a common bond, it fosters a great sense of community within the school,”, Drew McGuire, assistant principal, said. “Students feel more connected to the school and peers which ultimately leads to a more positive experience in their academic classes.”

The club, while still related to medicine, is not associated with Med Careers, an academic class (requiring application) for seniors focused on giving them more experience in the field of medicine.

“This club is not affiliated with Med Careers,” Gomez said. “Since this is a club, and not a class, it will not be academically rigorous, and events and experiences will be optional”.

Knowing this, some students still believe that the club will ultimately help them when applying for Med Careers as seniors.

“I’d want to join [the club] as a way to hopefully prepare for Med Careers, hoping I can get in, and [eventually pursue] a career in nursing,” Kraus said.

McGuire agreed in that the club can be of use to students who want to take the class in the future.

“It is my understanding that the club is to provide a place for students who are interested in learning more about medical careers before they get into the actual class,” McGuire said. However, as for students who can join the club, it’s open to all grades for “any students who are interested in learning more about medical career options or student who may have a strong interest in science.”

Right now, the club is still in the process of being finalized and in search of a sponsor, but students can’t wait to be a part of this new club.

“I think the club will be fun and productive by setting a good foundation of basic medical knowledge in a more low-key setting,” Hughes said.

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