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Student Spotlight: Josh McLain

Where are you originally from?

Born and raised in Anoka, Minnesota

Where did you attend/or currently are attending school? (high school, university, etc)

After high school I was attracted to the bluff country and completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse. I decided to continue my education journey and am currently a second year student in the Doctoral Physical Therapy program here at UWL.

What was your first experience with AHEC and what did you learn from it?

My first experience with AHEC involved a road trip down to Wisconsin Dells, riding elephants through the Kalahari, eating phenomenal food, and competing in the AHEC Interprofessional Healthcare Case Competition. This is a phenomenal opportunity for any students going into the healthcare profession. This competition allows you to explore your strengths, build on your weaknesses, expand your professional network, collaborate with other health care professionals on one common goal, and improve your interprofessional communication. These are all wonderful things but the best part was going to present to a panel of judges while meeting and interacting with many other young, motivated, and eager healthcare professionals!

Do you have plans to take advantage of AHEC programs in the future?

I don’t know that it is possible to do one AHEC event and be done with the program. I have recently signed up to be a part of the AHEConnect Mentor Program, and hopefully get the opportunity to mentor a young professional thinking about persuing a career in the healthcare field. Soon I am going to be moving on in my career as a physical therapist and would love the chance to continue mentoring and giving the kids opportunities to explore the profession. I will continue to look for AHEC Alumni events around the Scenic Rivers Area and look forward to staying involved within the AHEC program.

What advice would you give to younger students starting to navigate their future in a health care career?

For any students that are pursuing a career in the healthcare professions you need to maximize opportunities. Our society has become very time restricted and the number one complaint with Americans is that we don’t have enough time. The reality is that you need to prioritize your time and take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. Make the time to go shadow clinicians in your desired field and don’t settle for folding towels, maximize your time with these knowledgeable individuals and learn everything you can. Apply for mentorship positions and find a good role model that you trust and can go to with questions. Finally, get involved in the local community programs such as Special Olympics, the YMCA, Community Gardens, and obviously maximize your opportunities in programs such as those provided by AHEC!

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