Gap year provides opportunity for real-world experience

Published on June 08, 2022

Gap year provides opportunity for real-world experience

Working in healthcare is something Ian Rogers is passionate about. After enrolling at the University of Kansas and completing his undergraduate degree in biology, medical school was the next step. He applied during his junior year, earning admission at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“I really want to go into orthopedics and work with kids,” he said. “In this field, it feels like there’s more of a set instruction manual. You have a broken bone? This is how you fix it. I really like that.”

Image of Ian Rogers

Ian Rogers

Before heading to medical school, Ian opted to take a gap year from his studies. For some who take a gap year, they may take time off for travel or to volunteer. Ian had another great reason.

“The main reason I took a gap year was to get married and get some real medical experience under my belt,” he said. “Knowing there will be things I’ll request as a resident, I’ll be more empathetic after having that first-hand experience and understanding how a clinic runs.”

Work in healthcare while you earn your degree

Ian became a CNA, or certified nursing assistant, and began searching for a job. When he learned that his certification would allow him to work at LMH Health as a medical assistant, Ian jumped at the chance to submit an application.

“I applied for a position in general surgery but got interviewed and hired by OrthoKansas first. I didn’t have any experience in orthopedics but was excited to get into a specialty that I hadn’t seen or shadowed in,” he explained.

Dayton Bossard was the LMH Health recruiter assigned to work with Ian. After reviewing his resume and noting that he’d been working as a volunteer at LMH, Dayton jumped at the chance to share his resume further.

“Ian was eager to work at LMH and grow his skills,” Dayton said. “Having a degree in biology and having been a volunteer, he’s the type of candidate I love to work with. I made sure to send his resume to the team at OrthoKansas immediately!”

Megan Stovall, clinical manager at OrthoKansas, received Ian’s resume and saw his prior volunteer experience at LMH Health. Finding opportunities to keep volunteers working within the organization is a priority for the team.

“We value the service our volunteers provide and we were excited to interview Ian,” she said. “He expressed pursuing an interest in sports medicine during medical school, as well as wanting to gain a better knowledge base in orthopedics as a whole.”

Ian works with a number of teams as a medical assistant, spending time on a variety of tasks. Ensuring charts are up-to-date, getting patients to rooms and doing behind-the-scenes work are only part of his duties. He also prepares injections, helps with minor procedures and takes out sutures and staples.

“Not only do I get to do a number of different tasks, I’ve also been able to shadow the physicians so I could watch surgeries to see how it all works together. It’s been great having access to that as well,” he shared.

What’s the best part about working at OrthoKansas? For Ian, it’s been the staff. Meeting everyone and learning how their roles fit together has been invaluable. The doctors, physician assistants and nurse practitioners are a wealth of information.

A learning environment

“If I’ve got a question or I’m just curious, they’re all willing to thoroughly explain,” he said. “It’s great to be able to have the experience to pick their brains and understand their thought processes.”

Ian is grateful for the time he’s spent with staff and the feeling is mutual. Megan said that he’s truly been a utility player when it comes to assisting provider teams.

“Ian’s spent time working with every team and has taken each opportunity seriously, learning the differences needed to care for patients in different subspecialties,” she remarked. “We’re grateful for his time, dedication and willingness to help where he’s needed. I wish him the best of luck in medical school and hope that he’ll consider coming back to serve our community.”

Why should you chose a career in healthcare?

If you’re considering a career in orthopedics, Ian recommends working with the team at OrthoKansas. Working with and learning from experts in their field has been an amazing experience.

“OrthoKansas is very encouraging. The culture is very positive and upbeat,” Ian said. “The teams of doctors, physician assistants, nurses and support staff are cohesive and provide outstanding patient care that’s exceptional for a community health system – it’s among the best I’ve seen.”

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Autumn BishopStory by Autumn Bishop

Autumn is the marketing manager and content strategist at LMH Health.