Lubbock healthcare professionals inspire younger generations with free pathway program

Updated: Mar. 30, 2019 at 3:56 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Hill and Ioppolo Oral and Dental Implant Surgery of Lubbock hosted a free healthcare pathway program for middle and high school students interested in pursuing a career in the medical field.

Robert Ioppolo, DDS said when he was in their position, information was coming at him from all different angles.

“We thought if we could bundle that together and provide it all in one place it would be succinct and concise for students,” Ioppolo said.

Sixtus Atabong, a neurosurgery PA, said the students who attended the program stand out.

“They’re taking the time to learn about what it takes to become a physician, a physician’s assistant, to be medical practitioners,” Atabong said.

Students had the opportunity to hear advice and personal stories from a panel of medical professionals in a variety of fields.

“We want to start instilling that passion in them from a young age, we want to make sure that this is what they want to do,” Atabong said.

Students also got to hear from a high school counselor to learn what they can be doing now to make their college applications stand out.

“There are definitely deadlines and things that they need to be aware of, and if they miss those, or somebody didn’t bring them to their attention, then often times there’s a missed opportunity,” Ioppolo said.

Atabong said it was encouraging to see all of the students show up for this event because not all people have opportunities like this.

“If you work hard you will succeed, there is going be failures, there is going to be weaknesses, but you have to understand, that’s what makes us who we are,” Atabong said.

The medical professionals left the students with words of wisdom as they prepare to enter the professional medical field.

“The true meaning of life is found in the service of others, and healthcare truly offers that,” Atabong said.

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