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updated: 5/15/2013 10:55 AM

HS Students Tour Vista East for Careers in Medicine

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  • Margie Taylor (r), Joint Program Coordinator for Vista Health System, demonstrates how rehabilitating patients learn to put on shoes to Waukegan High School students and counselor Chuck Gutman.

    Margie Taylor (r), Joint Program Coordinator for Vista Health System, demonstrates how rehabilitating patients learn to put on shoes to Waukegan High School students and counselor Chuck Gutman.
    Cynthia Alexander

John Griffin

For high school students thinking about a career in health care, specifically in a hospital, they might not realize there are many options beyond being a doctor or a nurse. Thanks to a recent tour offered by Vista Medical Center East, eight Waukegan High School students with an interest in health care saw first hand that there are many other career options available.

Vista has supported Waukegan H.S. students interested in health care for a number of years with tours to a wide range of clinical and support departments. This gives students insights into possible professions that might fit their interests.

Joyce Turley, MD, a neonatologist with Vista Health System, volunteered her time again this year to lead the tour that included one freshman, one sophomore and six juniors. They were accompanied by Chuck Gutman, College and Career Counselor, who coordinated the tour for Waukegan High School.

"It's a pleasure to have the students have a chance to meet and talk with some of our health-care professionals at Vista," Dr. Turley said. "This is a great opportunity for them to get a better idea about the scope of careers that are available to them. They ask some great questions, and I'm always impressed with their enthusiasm."

The busy half-day tour included a visit to the Emergency Department, the Orthopedic and Joint Center, Vista's brand new maternity unit known as the New Family Center, the Laboratory, the Pharmacy, the Health Information Management department, and Diagnostic Imaging. The students also met with the Stroke program coordinator, the Cancer program director and one of Vista's certified Spanish interpreters. At each stop, they were given a brief presentation and had the chance to talk about the roles and responsibilities of those jobs.

As Dr. Turley led them from one department to the next, she shared her own experiences as someone who graduated high school with no real career plans. She told them how she was a cabdriver, a waitress, and a drapery factory worker when she decided to completely change gears and go to college, with the goal of entering medical school. Through perseverance, she earned her degree, completed her medical training and has been in practice for many years. She hopes that her story will let these students realize that there are plenty of opportunities available for those who go after them.

"Health care offers so many great career paths for young people today to follow, and I just want to help them see what's available," Dr. Turley says. "Ultimately, I hope that some of these students will find a career in health care and decide to serve their hometown communities where they were raised."

Dr. Turley is a member of the Vista Physician Group and practices exclusively at Vista Medical Center East at 1324 N. Sheridan Rd., Waukegan, IL 60085.

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Vista Health System is a network that includes: two hospitals in Waukegan -- Vista Medical Center East and Vista Medical Center West; the Vista Lindenhurst campus that includes the Vista Ambulatory Care Center, Lindenhurst Surgery Center, LLC, the Vista Freestanding Emergency Center, and the new Vista Medical Office Building; and several locations for imaging, patient therapy and physician practices. Vista is a Center of Excellence in a number of key service areas and is accredited in Bariatric Surgery, Breast Cancer, Cancer, Chest Pain, Congestive Heart Failure, Inpatient Diabetes, Orthopedics, Rehabilitation and Stroke. To learn more about Vista Health System, please visit