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Florida Hospital Zephyrhills Attracts the B.E.S.T. Students

Posted on Monday, July 10, 2017 at 9:03 am

Photo by Janice Subino, Florida Hospital Zephyrhills) Florida Hospital Zephyrhills was one of the few in the region that hosted a two-week academy in late June for high school students who are interested in pursuing a medical career. Here’s the class of 2017 along with some of their leaders.

Florida Hospital Zephyrhills (FHZ) hosted its third annual B.E.S.T. Academy the last two weeks in June for 25 high school sophomores, juniors and seniors who are interested in pursuing a medical career.

The acronym B.E.S.T. stands for Brain Extension Scholastic Training and was founded by Dexter Frederick, MD, a Tampa internist/pediatrician who still plays an active role in the program.  The Academy is a partnership with Florida Hospital, The University of South Florida (USF), USF’s Area Health Education Centers (AHEC), and USF’s Moransi College of Medicine.

Participating students shadowed clinicians as they did hospital rounds and rotated throughout departments from cardiology to the lab. They observed at least one surgery and participated in anatomy classes, lectures and clinical workshops on topics related to diabetes, whole person care and vital signs. They even had practice suturing on artificial models.

Participating students were primarily from Pasco County but teens from Hillsborough County and one as far away as the Carolina’s participated. To be considered for the Academy, students must have a GPA of at least 3.0, complete an application, show a sincere interest in pursuing a medical career, have letters of reference, and participate in an interview before being accepted. “The competition is quite intense,” said Paige Williams, RN, BSN, Clinical Nurse Educator at FHZ.

This year’s B.E.S.T. Academy sponsors were Florida Hospital Zephyrhills, Florida Medical Clinic’s Foundation of Caring, AHEC and Moffitt Cancer Center.

There is a cost for the program and a confidentiality agreement must be signed by the student, Williams added.  For information on the 2018 B.E.S.T. Academy, call Williams at (813) 783-6119, ext. 1925.