Select students exposed to health care professions at Camp Carilion Clinic

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7)— All week, rising eighth and ninth graders have been training to see what it’ll really be like to work in the medical field.

Camp Carilion Clinic is a four-day camp only offered once a year that students in and around our area can apply to get into. Only 16 are chosen.

“There are a lot of factors, but the 16 that make this camp are an elite 16 and we’re very proud of them for making it," said Student Services Supervisor Karri Proctor.

One of those students is rising eighth grader Evelyn Anderson.

“I really like it," Anderson said. "I love all of the learning opportunities and learning about what I actually want to do when I get older.”

Anderson aspires to be a cardiovascular surgeon.

“I’ve kind of always known I’ve wanted to do something that helps people with everything," she said. "I want to help them live, I want to help them with anything really.”

“I love watching the kids’ excitement every single day," Proctor said. “They just dive in and they’re just so interested and so engaged and that lets me know that everything we put together is worth it.”

According to Proctor, cases like Anderson's are not typical. She said most students use this camp to figure out what exactly they want to do in the medical profession.

“We want to make sure that we are fostering the passion for health care from a very early age," she said. "We want them here when we’re done, we want them to be here and we appreciate everyone that puts so much into helping put this camp on.”

Proctor is hopeful that showing these students over a hundred medical careers at camp has given them the exposure they need to make a decision.

“Whatever you really want to do, go and do it," Anderson said. "I just think everybody is a little scared to kind of go out into the world and fulfill what they want to and I think everyone should really do what they want to do no matter what. Get through the obstacles of anything.”

For the students who don’t make it into the camp, they can always join the volunteer program at the hospital or when they turn 16, they can shadow the positions that are exactly what they’re interested in.