Health career explorers

ExploringPost141Tuesday, September 11th marked the kick off to a long-running, but sometimes little known, group here at Des Moines University. For many years DMU has been home to a local chapter of the national organization, Career Exploring. A subsidiary of the Boy Scouts of America and Learning for Life, the Exploring groups focus on specific topics such as arts, communications, skilled trades, law enforcement, fire service, and, in the case of the DMU group, health careers.

Exploring Posts typically run in conjunction with the academic year and are open to boys and girls ages 14-20. Our DMU group, Health Careers Exploring Post 141, meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month from 7 – 9 p.m. With the exception of one or two field trips per year, the group meets on campus in Lecture Hall 1. Students from the Des Moines and surrounding areas who are interested in a career in health care are encouraged to join the post for a truly unique opportunity.

Each meeting focuses on a different health related career. Past program topics include: surgery demonstrations and suturing on pigs’ feet, casting and orthopedic labs, dermatology presentations, global health information, ‘delivering’ a baby in our Simulation Lab, playing the doctor in our Standardized Patient Assessment Lab, and much more. We have also taken field trips to Mercy Medical Center, Mercy College of Health Sciences, Des Moines Eye Care, and Central Iowa Orthodontics. We don’t focus only on programs offered here at DMU, but instead try and cover the spectrum of possible health careers to educate students on options they may not know about.

We make each program as hands-on as possible, and to do that we rely on help from our current medical students. Not only is the Post a great opportunity for local teenagers, but it’s a good way for medical students to give back to the community they’re living in. We want to be sure this is feasible for any student that may be interested so the registration fee for the entire year is only $20.00! We recognize students are busy and may have scheduling conflicts, which is why we have no mandatory attendance and students are encouraged to only attend the meetings that work with their schedule and/or that are presenting topics they may be interested in.

The Post is run by volunteer advisors. You don’t have to be a DMU employee or student to get involved. Anyone over the age of 18 can become an adult advisor. Time commitment is minimal as we have one to two planning meetings a month (one hour, typically over a lunch hour) and then the actual Post meetings. The more advisors we have, the more we can split the responsibilities and meeting dates. If you are interested in possibly becoming an advisor, please contact Melissa Wilder at 515-271-1374 or

If you know of a student that may be interested in joining the post, please refer them to the Post website. From there they can read about the post, get meeting dates and topic information, download the registration form, and get directions to campus. There is no pre-registration requirement, just show up and we’ll help them from there!

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