Behind the Shadow of Medical Academy

A further look into the world of soon to be medical students


Courtesy of HHS Medical Academy

Huntley High School’s Medical Academy gives students the opportunity of a lifetime.

By Jessica Smith

As Bella Demonica approaches the final months of her senior year, she once again gets to put on her scrubs and take on the challenges of furthering her journey in studying medicine. 

Many students here at Huntley High School get the opportunity to partake in the Youth Residency Program offered here. The program allows students to shadow in hospitals and learn more about medicine.

This unique program is one of the most incredible classes offered at the high school. It does not just prepare students for future medical courses but also helps pave the correct paths for students.

“I think the biggest success of this program is that the students who decide in high school that they don’t want to go into medicine. I think so much money and time is wasted in college by students who have this idea in their heads to be in the medical field. I am very proud that we allow students to see the other options out there” Medical Academy teacher St. Clair said. 

While the Medical Academy helps pave the paths of students; it also offers a variety of rotations the students partake in during shadowing. Many future medical students come back to the high school with some crazy stories.

“I was shadowing the OB one day, and right as I got in, the doctor told me to come over and hold the patient’s leg. So I had to hold this lady’s leg while she was giving birth, I was not just viewing the birth I was actually in it,” senior Maddie Marino said.

These experiences helped solidify Marinos’s mind about becoming a pediatrician or being solely in the OB. The program itself helped Marino understand what she truly wanted to do in medical school.

Senior, Bella Demonica is always eager to shadow in hospitals as it helps her understand who she truly is, while also experiencing some crazy events.

“On my respiratory rotation, I got to go into one of the ICU rooms, where there was a man who was brain dead. It’s one thing to see it on a show, but to go into a room and see that a machine is literally doing all the work, is eye-opening,” Demonica said.

The program helps these students to further their dedication to their future careers, by solidifying their minds through hands-on learning.

“Shadowing is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I am so thankful that I get to do it. It is such a great experience that most students don’t get to see until medical school,” Marino said.

The stories that these future medical students bring back to high school are incredible. Knowing this academy is changing the lives of many is an eye-opener for other surrounding districts. Shadowing in the operating room is just the first step to these next-generation lifesavers.