Recruiting doctors: Heroes for Harlingen program looking for physicians

HARLINGEN — Dentists and surgeons and pharm techs, oh my!

Those are just a few of the health care professionals Thursday night who offered to provide a practicum for students planning to pursue the medical field after high school.

“We had a great turnout,” said Veronica Kortan, administrator of organizational development for the Harlingen school district.

“A lot of the people that came last night had never been to the School of Health Professions, so they were in awe,” she said. “We had four students who spoke to the type of instruction they’re getting here. They spoke to their preparation. I was so proud of them.”

Kortan said the district was recruiting physicians as part of its Heroes for Harlingen program. The program has many features. One of those includes the district partnering with community leaders to provide authentic learning experiences.

About 30 physicians attended the event, and about 15 signed pledges to host student practicums. Those would allow students to obtain real-life experience in the office of a medical professional.

“It’s a commitment, six to 10 hours a week,” Kortan said.

This is the first year an event of this kind has been held at HSHP, Kortan said. The physicians are being recruited in preparation for the Legacy Class entering its senior year. The Legacy Class is the first group of students who began attending HSHP its first year of operation.

The physicians who attended the event spoke at leisure to the students, said Shane Strubhart, spokesperson for the district.

“What they need now are opportunities to work alongside partners,” Strubhart said.

What the students will need after that is entrance to top universities to pursue medical careers.