Do you know a child who wants to become a doctor, nurse, or dentist when he or she grows up?
ABC Action News discovered a summer program here in the Bay area that’s basically a road map to medical school. Its goal is to prepare young students for a future in health care. It’s called the B.E.S.T. program. B.E.S.T. is an acronym for brain expansions scholastic training. Dr. Dexter Frederick is the brain child behind B.E.S.T. He says he started this program because parents and students kept asking one basic question, “If I want to be a doctor, how do I get from where I am now to where you are now?” His program is like G.P.S. for future healthcare professionals.
Rising high school sophomores, juniors and seniors are encouraged to apply. It’s extremely competitive. This year alone, 250 applications where whittled down to just 80 candidates. Selected students will dive into an intense four week summer program that exposes them to the real world of health care. Dr. Frederick says, “It’s life changing for any student who gets into our program!” In partnership with Florida Hospital Tampa, Florida Hospital Zephyrhills, and Florida Hospital Carrollwood, students are allowed to walk the halls alongside a doctor, physical therapist, nurse or respiratory therapist to get experience and exposure. Participating health care professionals range from cardiologists and radiologists to physical therapists and dietitians. Frederick says, “Between shadowing clinicians around the hospital in specialty areas such as cardiology, radiology, surgery and being infused with practical hands-on clinical workshops in suturing and venipuncture, their dream suddenly feels attainable.”
The program, started in 2004 , is dedicated to creating a long lasting, positive impact in the lives of underrepresented and disadvantaged youth.
Since its start, the program has served more than 500 students.