WARREN, Mich. (Feb. 13, 2019) – For Joe Opolski, med school is starting a few years early.
Along with approximately 34 other students from 21 high schools in metro Detroit and Lansing, Opolski is participating in a special regional program, called Future DOcs, sponsored by Michigan State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Started in 2013, Future DOcs is a free, hands-on program for high school juniors and seniors. Participants meet seven consecutive Saturdays at different hospitals, and explore academic and career possibilities.
“Most interesting so far has been the ability to tour hospitals and learn about the different pathways in the medical field,” said Opolski, a junior. Among the topics in the three-hour sessions are emergency care, pathology, family medicine, and nursing.
Current MSU med students mentor the high-schoolers in groups of three; Opolski’s mentor is David Funk, who is a 2012 De La Salle graduate.
“The med students have provided information about which classes to take as an undergraduate and their own personal experiences,” Opolski added.
This past fall was the first year since the Future DOcs program began that participants were accepted into the College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Opolski, who attended Immaculate Conception Grade School in Ira Township, heard about the program through his mother, a nurse in the Oncology Center at Henry Ford Macomb.
He plans to pursue med school, and is interested in either emergency care or pediatrics.
Opolski is enrolled in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, and carries a 3.9 grade-point average. He is currently taking both IB Biology and IB Chemistry.
Opolski is also a Student Council class senator, a post he held as a sophomore, and a member of Link Crew, the World Cultures Club, and the Stock Market Club. He also plays lacrosse.