Guest Speakers in Hospital Sneakers: Why Class Just Got More Interesting

Published on August 7, 2013 by arothstein

medical assisting program

Guest speaker Dr. Jeff Clark talks about his career as a pharmacist to medical assisting students.

Think of your favorite college classes. What made them great? Chances are your most memorable classes involved a variety of activities that captured your attention and focused on interactive learning, as opposed to monotone lectures day after day with no deviation from the routineà la the teacher in Charlie Brown.

Broadview University–Orem’s medical assisting program chair, James Kelly, has been mixing up the routine lately by inviting professionals from the community to speak in the classroom. He knows that a quality education extends well beyond simply relaying information to students. Textbooks alone can accomplish that much, and let’s face it, unless you really like to read textbooks, most of your learning will occur in other ways.

“By bringing in guest speakers, students are able to obtain knowledge and experience beyond my own ability to provide them,” Kelly says.

Students also see the benefit in bringing experts into the classroom. “I think it’s very important that the medical assisting program have real-world experience incorporated into it,” medical assisting student Amber Eberline said. “These guest speakers are bringing that real-world, clinical experience to the class.”

Among this quarter’s guest speakers were Carolyn Myers, office manager at Utah Valley Dermatology; Dr. Jeff Clark, pharmacist at Shopko Pharmacy; and recent Broadview–Orem graduate, Ruth Hunt, certified medical assistant at Utah Fertility Clinic.

medical assisting program

Medical assisting program chair, James Kelly

Guest speakers give students a chance to ask questions and get insider tips from those in the field. During his presentation, Dr. Clark explained how people call the pharmacy with random health questions because he is more convenient (and cheaper) than a visit to the doctor. He also told students that a big part of his job is deciphering prescriptions that have been scribbled illegibly by doctors. For example, it would be a big mistake to get the prescription Celexa (a medication for depression) confused with Cialis (a medication for erectile dysfunction).

Giving students the opportunity to learn from professionals out in the field is one of the best ways to stimulate the learning process and get students excited about their future.

“Lectures given by experienced professionals in the field enhance students’ learning by providing them with a peek into the real world of their future profession,” Kelly says. “Each of these experts has had a unique experience and is able to broaden the scope of learning for our students.”

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