LANCASTER, CA, August 15, 2018 — Forty-three students from Gifford C Cole Middle School in Lancaster in the Eastside Union School District began their journey into the medical field on August 15 by taking their oath for Kaiser Permanente’s Hippocrates Circle.

The program introduces under-represented middle school students to careers in health care.

The students listened as nine diverse physicians from various countries and backgrounds spoke candidly about their fears, struggles, challenges, and obstacles they overcame to become successful in the medical field (Dr. Diana Davio (General Surgery), Dr. Eugene Snissarenko (Head & Neck Surgery), Dr. Rana Shenoy (Infectious Disease), Dr. Khodam Rostomian (Ophthalmology), Dr. Anthony Chin-Quee (Head & Neck Surgery), Dr. John Sasaki (Pediatrics), Dr. Amjad Hasan (Rheumatology), Josh Huezo (Department Administrator)).

This event is part of a series of activities designed to help students visualize themselves preparing for medical school. The next activity, scheduled for September 12, is a presentation on admissions and financial aid from counselors from Antelope Valley College, Antelope Valley Union High School District and University of Antelope Valley. Students will also observe a dissection, receive CPR training and tour Kaiser Permanente Antelope Valley Medical Offices in September and October.

On November 7, students, parents, physicians, teachers and school officials will gather for a graduation ceremony to celebrate completion of the Hippocrates Circle experience, and to also reinforce the message to the students, who are about to enter high school, that they have many people who believe in them and their educational journey is an important achievement for them and their families.

The Hippocrates Circle program is the first step in a long line of youth workforce development programs that Kaiser Permanente offers, including our Volunteer Program, Medical Explorers, INROADS internships, and Residency and Fellowship opportunities.

Hippocrates Circle first took root 17 years ago in San Diego, when Kaiser Permanente physician Ricardo Sistos, MD, and his colleagues began mentoring 30 students.

The mission of the Hippocrates Circle Program is to provide youth from under-represented communities and diverse backgrounds with awareness that a career as a physician is possible. Through the collaborative efforts of the local school districts, Medical schools, and the physicians from the Southern California Permanente Medical Group and Kaiser Permanente sponsorship, the Hippocrates Circle Program will strive to strengthen the self-esteem of young people and empower them to pursue their goal to become a physician. The selected individuals enrolled in the Hippocrates Circle will have several opportunities in their fellowship to interact with practicing physicians.

Hippocrates is known as the “Father of medicine”. He was born in 460 BC in Greece. In his time, most people thought that illness was caused by “evil spirits.” Hippocrates was the first physician to study and treat the human body as a whole. He believed in observing the body and diagnosing illness to provide treatments that could help people get better. He established a medical school in Greece to train other physicians and introduced an oath of medical ethics for physicians to follow. To this day, all physicians take the “Hippocratic Oath” when they begin their medical practice. Our program is named for this great leader.

About Kaiser Permanente Antelope Valley
Opened in 1968, Kaiser Permanente Antelope Valley serves more than 125,000 members locally. Care for patients is focused on total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists, and team of caregivers. For more information, go to: www.kp.org/antelopevalley.

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 11.8 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: kp.org/share.