Students explore new paths through Med Tech course


Asma Ghomrawi, staff writer

South’s only medical-based elective, Medical Technology, commonly known as Med Tech, is a popular elective for sophomores and upperclassmen. The lab-based class is targeted toward students who have even the slightest interest in the medical field, Jeff Paek, Med Tech Teacher, said.

The class covers the different aspects of the body and medicine, such as anatomy, physiology, and medical technology and terminology, Jessica Pritzker, Med Tech Teacher, said. 

“It’s like an appetizer of med school,” Pritzker said.

The class is available to sophomores through seniors, as long as they have completed biology in their freshman year, and is geared toward those with an interest in health professions, Paek explained. 

“[The health profession] does not have to be a doctor or a nurse,” Paek said. “Whether [the profession] is dentists, physical therapists, [etc.], there is a lot of hands-on experiences that the students will get that they’ll find fascinating.”

Med Tech offers the opportunity for students to earn dual credit through Oakton College, Paek said. 

“Along with the science credit [earned at South], [students] are able to receive credit for a medical terminology class at Oakton simply by enrolling,” Paek said. 

There are many different types of students who take Med Tech, whether it is students who are looking to pursue a career in the medical field or those who just want to learn more about their body and how to care for it, Pritzker explained. 

“[Med Tech has] a great mix [of students],” Pritzker said. “It [has] kids who do not want to take a more difficult science and it also [has] kids that are in Advanced Placement Biology who want to go to med school and are trying to figure out if it’s for them or not.” 

The class has helped students identify different career paths that they may want to dive into, as well as some they would like to avoid, Pritzker said.

“There have been a few kids that have come in here and said, ‘I thought I was going to be a doctor, [but now] I’m definitely not,’” Pritzker said. “But there [are] even more kids that walk in and they’re like, ‘I thought I was gonna be a business major, [but] then I took your class and [now] I’m going into nursing or medicine.’” 

The class is very focused on covering different body systems, Paek explained, covering each body system as a unit, starting with cardiovascular, then hematology, musculoskeletal, digestive, urinary, and ending with reproduction, Pritzker added. Throughout these units, students get to experience a multitude of different labs, Pritzker said. 

“We have a lab almost every [class],” Pritzker said. “We dissect a lot [and] I teach them how to suture. We do surgery, we look at a lot of different things under a microscope, and we do experiments on ourselves a lot.” 

Students really enjoy the hands-on focus of the class, senior Angela Karavites described. 

“We learned about different parts of the body and how [each of the systems] work, and then for each system we would usually do a [lab],” Karavites said. “[When] we learned about the cardiopulmonary system, we got to do a coronary artery bypass on a [cow] heart, which is really cool.” 

One of the biggest things that makes the class special is the atmosphere, Pritzker described. 

“[The atmosphere of the class is] very chill,” Pritzker said. “We laugh and have a great time. Most kids really enjoy it.”