Sierra Students Explore Physician Careers

March 6, 2017 – For the fifth year in a row, students at Sierra Middle School have been selected to participate in “The Hippocrates Circle,” a program which mentors and educates students in diverse middle schools on careers in the medical profession. The program, which is funded and directed by Kaiser Permanente, exposes selected students to a five-week journey visiting their medical centers, San Joaquin Community Hospital, and nursing classes at the California State University Nursing Program.

“There is a big need for physicians in our community, and Kaiser Permanente is looking for local people to integrate them into the area of medicine,” said Maggie Gonzales, Project Manager Education and Development for Kaiser Permanente.

During the visit to San Joaquin Community Hospital, surgeons, specialists, and nurses talked to the students and gave them an insight into the medical sciences. In addition, students simulated a laparoscopic surgery. “This visit gave us an opportunity to get interested into the medical field,” said student Xavier Morales.

“The overarching goal of the program is to empower middle school students to believe that they can become a physician or enter any medical field,” said Tomas Prieto, Principal at Sierra Middle School.

The program inspired former Sierra student Eduardo Rodriguez, who is currently pursuing a degree in Human Biology at the University of California at Santa Cruz. “This program gave me determination and motivation and I firmly believe that I can achieve anything, and that for me is to become a physician,” Rodriguez said.

Thirty students made up the fifth graduating class of The Hippocrates Circle at Sierra Middle School. All are aspiring to one day be working as health professionals in our community. The students all received certificates of participation, and their very own stethoscope.

For more information about the Hippocrates Circle Program visit

Students visiting California State University Nursing Program.

Students at the AIS Cancer Center of San Joaquin Community Hospital/Adventist Health.

Students simulating a laparoscopic surgery.

Learning about surgical instruments.

Former Sierra student Eduardo Rodriguez, who is currently pursuing a degree in Human Biology at the University of California at Santa Cruz.

2017 Hippocrates Circle Program Graduates.

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