Story submitted by Stillwater Medical Center Foundation
Know a student interested in a healthcare career? Applications for Stillwater Medical Foundation’s High School Fellowship Program will open on Wednesday, March 1st. This year’s recipients will be the 40th class to complete the six-week program.
Students may apply from the summer before their junior year of high school to the summer before their freshman year of college. Students must also be 16 years of age by June 1st.
During the program, the fellows shadow physicians, nurses and allied health professionals at Stillwater Medical Center and area clinics. They also observe surgeries, births, and emergency treatment at SMC.
2022 fellow, Ceyda Kara, described, “The doctors I met all told me that they were in this field for the patients. That without the love they held for them, they wouldn’t bother doing hours of paperwork even after their shift was over. Yes, it is the love for science and medicine that made them doctors, but it was their love and passion for humanity that made them into great ones.”
The program includes field trips to both of Oklahoma’s medical schools as well as specialized centers like Dean McGee Eye Institute, the Oklahoma Blood Institute, Integris’ Paul Silverstein Burn & Wound Care Unit, and the Oklahoma Cancer Specialists and Research Institute. Students have also visited Behavioral Sciences at OUHSC and the University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy.
The High School Fellowship program was created by the late Dr. Orville Rippy. It was his dream to help introduce young adults to the wide variety of careers in healthcare. Upon his retirement in 1983, he asked friends and family to establish the Rippy Fellowship.
In the mid ’90s, Dr. Robert Breedlove started an endowment for the Breedlove Fellowship after several years of having Rippy Fellows shadowing in his office. At the same time, Dr. Glen Henry, the 1987 Rippy Fellow, and his mother, Glenna Franklin Cramer, started the Franklin Fellowship in memory of Bill Franklin.
In 2019, retired nurse and hospital volunteer, Sue McMillan, created an endowment for the McMillan Fellowship, making a total of four student experiences each summer.
Students are encouraged to apply starting on March 1 by visiting https://smc-foundation.org/education/high-school-fellowships/