HOSA Medical Club on to States


Brooklyn Shafer

This is currently WHHS’ second year having a HOSA Medical Club chapter. SENIORS Sophia Liu and Mary Sullivan are Co-presidents of the club, leading many members to states in March.

From Biomedical Debate, to CPR, and even a Cultural Diversities & Disparities in Healthcare event, HOSA Medical Club creates opportunities for students interested in a career in health services. The fairly new club was started in WHHS two years ago and is currently led by SENIORS Sophia Liu and Mary Sullivan. 

HOSA is a student organization, that’s mission is to allow students “to become leaders in the global health community through education, collaboration, and experience.” There are currently over 245,000 members in the 54 HOSA Associations worldwide. 

Co-president of WHHS’ HOSA chapter, Liu applied to college as a pre-med and joined the club as a sophomore to understand more about what is involved in the medical field. “I have some personal experience with Alzheimer’s so I was very interested in doing Alzheimer’s research, which is kind of the path I’m looking at,” Liu said. 

Co-president Sullivan is interested in going into research-based, behavioral biology. Liu and Sullivan graciously stepped up into their roles as club presidents this year. Especially with HOSA being a newer club at WHHS, they had to take on jobs that they wouldn’t normally have to do, including registering members for competitions. 

“We don’t yet have the funding for things like the textbooks and the resources that you would use to study, so [it’s difficult] when we’re competing against schools that already have had this program for a while,” Sullivan said. “There’s a bunch of random kinds of different problems that are thrown our way that we have to solve.” 

Currently, the club has about 30 active members. Many competed at the regional competition on Feb. 1. and placed highly in their events, advancing to states in March. There are dozens of events for students to compete in ranging from veterinary science to pharmacy science, pathophysiology and medical law and ethics. 

Louis Ke, ‘23 placed third in the Researched Persuasive Writing and Speaking event. This year’s topic was “Vaping: Safe or Sorry.” Ke prepared and presented an essay to an audience defending his position on the issue.  

“I encourage even people who aren’t into health and medicine to take a look at [HOSA] since there’s a lot of stuff that isn’t specifically health and medicine related,” Ke said. “Especially since Walnut doesn’t have a speech and debate team, it’s a good alternative. The event that I chose… fits with more of what I want to do in the future [which is related] to business and speaking.”

Most of the preparation for competitions takes place independently, but sometimes speakers and medical professionals volunteer to share their knowledge and experience at meetings. Joining HOSA can allow students to make connections within the medical field. 

Part of the club attended the online competition which consisted of test-based events. Some events had an interactive portion which include lab and procedural evaluations. Members who competed in those events, such as CERT Skills and CPR/First Aid, attended the competition in person at Scarlet Oaks Career Campus.

Looking forward, in preparation for states, qualifiers are working on revising their essays or reviewing test material. Members have primarily relied on Quizlet and PDF versions of textbooks to study because there isn’t much school funding given to HOSA yet.

SENIOR Reben Drummer, competed in the Cultural Diversities and Disparities event. Drummer plans on pursuing a career in psychology, but wants to explore all the possibilities within the medical field.

“This year I’ve been really interested in learning about different cultures and aspects of how they are in America and how they’re disenfranchised, or how they’re privileged,” Drummer said. 

Uyen Dao, ‘23 won the Medical Law and Ethics event at regionals. “It was stressful but the reward of making it past regionals and making it into states, legitimately through hard work, is pretty nice,” Dao said.

She plans on joining the club again during her SENIOR year. HOSA hopes to expand as a club through increased fundraising and bringing in more speakers to talk about their professions and answer any questions club members may have. Students interested in joining can do so in the 2022-2023 school year and can contact the club presidents, Liu and Sullivan, or the advisor, Dr. Rajni Harsh for more information. 

“I’ve been in this club since I started at Walnut and it was a way for me to meet other people without having to go out of my way in my classrooms,” Drummer said. “It definitely made my high school experience better… and I just wish a lot of people knew more about it and that it truly is a fun club.”