MASON CITY, Iowa - The health workforce shortage is an issue that's affecting not only the state of Iowa, but the entire country.
Within the next decade, 1/3rd of all currently active doctors will be older than 65. However, a program called Academic Advantage is aiming to encourage the next generation of students to not only explore a career in health care, but also contribute and grow the medical community.
From oral surgeons to pathologists, middle and high school students learned stories, education, and what a typical day is like from the professionals during the first annual Academic Advantage seminar Saturday morning at NIACC.
Mason City senior Abbigail Brosdahl is wanting to be a doctor.
"Right now, I'm going to the University of Iowa for biomedical sciences, which is a pre-medicine program. I'm actually going into the honors program there, and from there, I want to get my medical doctorate or doctor of osteopathic surgery."
At the seminar, she received a $1,000 scholarship for her studies. For her, it's a field that allows her to help others.
"I try to keep my mind open to so many different opportunities for me out there. I may not end up going into pediatrics or orthopedics. I have no idea what I could end up doing, but I know that I want to end up helping someone."
Dr. Lyell Hogg with the North Iowa Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center was one of the speakers at the seminar, and is pleased with the turnout, with the hope that he and other speakers can convince students to become members of the medical field.
"Within our field, certainly an aging population, within the field of medicine, recruitment of certain types of physicians and nurses to this area can be challenging."
For any students who are trying to figure out what to do for a career, Brosdahl has some advice.
"Apply yourself in everything you do, give your full effort, and know what you do matters in the end, if it's only yourself seeing it."