White Coat Program paves the way for future health professionals

Pictured [L to R] Arcelia Sarez and Celeste Castrejon

Pictured [L to R] Arcelia Sarez and Celeste Castrejon

Nerves gave way to excitement and then facination as the White Coat students put on crisp white lab coats and stepped through the doors of health facilities scattered through out San Bernardino County. The White Coat Spring Break program gave selected health pathway students the chance to experience the sites, sounds and yes, even smells, of the health care environment. The experience, which is carefully structured and monitored by the IHPC staff, provided mentoring,  job shadow, training, and written exercies to maximize the student's experience during the week. They were each required to write a reflection about their experience. Here is one from Celeste Castrejon, a Grand Terrace High School student who was placed at Arrowhead Orthopedics Hand Center in Redlands, CA. Her host was Hand Center Manager, Arcelia Sarez.

 ”This week I would say was a life changing experience for me…I learned so much in such a short time and received a deeper look into the commitment and duties of these different careers.  This program has definitely changed my future plans for my education and career - for the better, I believe. For the most part, I am now unquestionably fascinated and interested in the medical field. Specifically, I am gripped with the role of Physicians Assistant. Before this program my ambition was to become a NP or RN. After, shadowing two PAs I have fallen in love with the profession. First, I like the schooling better than NP schooling. Both PAs I shadowed went to a four year college then from there went to Western University of Health Sciences and became a PA right after they graduated. On the other hand, becoming a nurse practitioner is a longer process with the four year of college followed by three years of experience as registered nurse, then more schooling. Second, I like the autonomy Physician assistants acquire.  Most PAs see patients and have as much knowledge as surgeons to diagnose and treat, although they do not perform the surgeries. Lastly, I do not know what type of work ethic nurse practitioners have but, the Physician Assistants described to me that their life and career balance is what they love about their job. This is what I would feel would make me successful in life. During this week I have learned how to attend to patients and communicate with co-workers.  This experience and knowledge has opened my eyes and made me feel so excited for my future. I’d like to thank the White Coat program and Arrowhead Orthopaedics for giving me this opportunity.” - Celeste Castrejon

We are inspired by Celeste's experience and reaffirmed that this work is making a difference! Thank all of our sites and the hosts for taking these students under their wings. 

  • Arrowhead Orthopedics - San Bernardino: Olivia Martinez, Office Manager
  • Dr. Rahul Nayyar
  • Dr. Sonia Nayyar
  • Valley Radiotherapy/U.S. Oncology: Donna Foerster
  • Arrowhead Orthopedics - Rancho Cucamonga: Christeen Ingram, Office Manager
  • Arrowhead Orthopedics Hand Center - Redlands: Arcelia Sarez, Hand Center Manager
  • Arrowhead Regional Medical Center -  Emergency Department: Annette Martinez-Lievanos