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Nimitz Middle School Students Graduate from ‘Hippocrates Circle,’ Kaiser Permanente’s Job Shadow Program

Graduating students are joined by Kaiser staff and their families to celebrate the culmination of a six month training program. Photos courtesy of Kaiser Permanente.


By Tammye McDuff

Students from Nimitz Middle School in Huntington Park graduated from Kaiser Permanente-Downey Medical Center’s annual Hippocrates Circle program on Thursday, May 14th, with full pomp and circumstance befitting future medical personnel.

The program is funded by Kaiser Permanente Southern California Community Benefit and helps youth from under-represented communities pursue careers in medicine.

As part of the six-month program, these 52 graduating students shadowed physicians at Kaiser Permanente Downey, taking lessons ranging from CPR training to learning how to detect cancer in patients through biopsies and analyzed organs. Students also gained valuable insight about the importance of overcoming challenges and continuing their education.

The Hippocrates Circle reaches nearly 900 students throughout Southern California each year. Since the program’s inception in 2000, about 8,000 students have graduated, and dozens have gone on to become physicians, some of whom currently practice at Kaiser Permanente facilities.

The program is a partnership between Kaiser Permanente staff, physicians, school superintendents, educators, parents, and medical school faculty to strengthen connections and assist students in achieving their educational goals.

The program begins with an orientation fair at the local Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, a medical school fair, a hospital tour where students interact with physicians and other health care staff, culminating in a graduation ceremony which was held at Downey Embassy Suites.

This special event for the graduates and their families included a dinner, where the graduates each received a Certificate of Completion and their very first stethoscope.