“I woke up at three in the morning to get here,” a high school student told Adam Schweitzer, a first-year student in DMU’s doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) program. That began one of dozens of conversations Adam and fellow members of the University’s Sigma Sigma Phi (SSP) chapter, the National Osteopathic Honor Society, had at a recent Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates (iJAG) career fair in Des Moines.
The DMU students staffed a table with University tchotchkes, blood pressure cuffs, a butterfly ultrasound probe and information about upcoming admission events for prospective students. They were joined by Noreen O’Shea, D.O., FAAFP, assistant professor of behavioral medicine, medical humanities and bioethics and SSP adviser.
“I wish I had had something like this event when I was in high school,” Adam said. “It’s inspiring to see young people who are interested in medicine and science.”
Second-year D.O. student Jiyoon Song volunteered for the career fair because she enjoys interacting with high school students. “They have so much potential. I love talking with them about the pathway to becoming doctors,” she said. “A lot of them have dreams; I want to give them life tips for achieving that dream.”
“It’s also way to give them actual information versus what they find on Google,” added Tawnie Graff, also a second-year D.O. student.
iJAG is one of 37 state affiliates of the national Jobs for America’s Graduates program and the only statewide organization recognized by the Iowa Department of Labor as a Quality Pre-apprenticeship Program. Its nearly 80 sites and programs impact more than 3,500 students each year.