Community - Within Reach

A career in health care is within reach. That is the message the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine hopes to impart to high school and college students who may—or, more significantly, may not—be considering a career in health care.

Each year, the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine teams up with Jefferson College of Health Sciences, Virginia Western Community College, and Virginia Tech to host Within Reach, an inspirational program designed to expose high school and college students to a range of health care careers as well as regional higher education programs that can help them get there.

Representatives from each of the partner institutions give short presentations on their respective academic programs as well as the steps students need to take to be admitted. Local high school and college students are encouraged to attend with their families, as well as high school guidance counselors, teachers, and administrators.

“Many students who are already interested in medicine as a career attend each year,” says Dr. David Trinkle, associate dean for community and culture at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. “Within Reach is a great opportunity for them to make sure they’re taking the right steps to get to their goal. But we especially want to encourage the attendance of those who haven’t thought about health care before or who may think it’s out of their reach. Our goal is to show students that a career in medicine is a real choice. They can learn the steps, create a plan, and even gain some mentors in the process.”

Middle and high school students from Rebounding Roanoke’s Renaissance Academy program visited VTCSOM in November 2017 for Within Reach. The event’s focus on exposing students to different career opportunities, while providing them with access to the resources needed to get there, inspired many of the students to think about what careers they might be interested in some day.

Representatives from the host organizations are always on hand to tell students about their different academic programs as well as how they can navigate the admissions process.

In addition to students, the annual event also targets parents, school counselors, and individuals considering switching to a career in health care.