HOSA opens doors to the medical field


Hugh Ferguson

While photographing health professionals, Hugh Ferguson (10) shadowed an orthodontist and experienced a procedure first-hand. When shadowing doctors, students follow their day-to-day work and get a realistic picture of the tasks performed for that job.

For students interested in pursuing a medical career after high school or learning more about health professions, Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) provides opportunities to explore the vast world of health care. 

“HOSA is a club that helps students get to know health professions and to gain an understanding of how working in the health field might be like through events, competition and volunteering,” HOSA co-president Diran Tan (12) said. 

From competitive events ranging from medical math to prepared speaking to veterinary science, students are able to test on any topic they are interested in, each one developing skills crucial to any future career. 

“When I was doing my HOSA event, I got to photographically journal and learn about many health care careers, such as surgeons, veterinarians […] and orthodontists which definitely helped me narrow down which career I would want to go in,” Hugh Ferguson (10) said. 

Not only are students learning technical skills such as how to identify scar tissue or how to interact with patients, but they are also gaining important life skills. 

“I think it’s been a really good learning and teaching experience,” HOSA co-president Michael Golden (12) said. “As a competitor, HOSA is very intensive, and you have to keep track of your progress. You’re basically spending your whole year studying for your competition.”

Competitors test first on the regional level, then those who qualify, move on to the state competition- and the state finalists are invited to the international conference. Although virtual this year, students are still able to compete through online tests and video calls. However, students are not able to experience what would have been an exciting state competition. 

“For state competitions [in past years], they had a lot of workshops, speakers and medical companies who would talk to students about future careers and what to do to get into medical careers,” Golden said. “I think that’s a really great experience because it’s part of the goal of HOSA to help you explore health professions.”

This year, White Station HOSA had 21 state qualifiers a new record for the club and eight will participate in the HOSA International Leadership Conference. Even without in-person meetings and competitions, HOSA is still expanding and improving every year. 

White Station HOSA also hosts guest speakers, another opportunity for students to learn specific health care careers. 

“During speaker events, hearing professionals talk about their career and how they’ve come to where they are now, has provided a lot of motivation. Especially if we have similar goals, it pushes me to work harder,” Tan said. 

HOSA may be the first step into the medical field for some, and a career deciding factor for others. But no matter a student’s skill level, the opportunities with HOSA are infinite. 

 “I learned about many medical careers, which ones are out there and which ones are for me,” Ferguson said. “It was really eye-opening for me to see what medical career I want to do in the future.”