Adolescence is a crucial stage where choices that impact one's lives are made. In lieu of the immense pressure students go through in their teens, experts have come forward as responsible adults and guides to suggest the right and appropriate choices to be made. On 28th January 2012, seminars focusing on health and career options for youth were presented at the Chennai Science Festival 2012 held at Anna Gem Science Park School, Gandhi Mandapam Road, Chennai.
Adopting Healthy Habits:
AdvertisementDr. T.G. Sagar, Director, Cancer Institute (WIA), lectured on 'Healthy Youth; Wealthy India'. Students between ages of 15 and 17 were briefed on preventive diseases, ill effects of tobacco and alcohol addiction and cultivating healthy practices. Cancer, Hypertension, Obesity were given special attention. Details included how people fall a prey to such diseases beginning with indiscipline, hero worship, peer pressure and unhealthy lifestyle. Students were asked to resist temptation to smoke as the harmful toxins in a cigarette have the potential to damage all the vital organs, and may cause premature greying and impotence. It also poses a threat to an unborn child further resulting in more dangerous diseases. E-cigarettes were also condemned as an alternative since it contains certain percentage of nicotine in the cartridges and is not approved by WHO. As preventive measures exercises, yoga, meditation, spiritual activity and nutritious diet were suggested.
Exploring Career Options:
As an alternate to MBBS, 10th 11th and 12th standard students interested in hospital oriented courses are offered a myriad of options. Allied Health Professional (AHP) disciplines offered by Dr. MGR Medical University and their affiliated institutes include Therapeutic, Technical, Nourishment, Management, Clinical, Laboratory and Behavioural programmes. To delve deeper into what is available under each broad field, Therapeutic disciplines are inclusive of physiotherapy, Radiotherapy, Respiratory therapy and Speech therapy. AHPs graduating from Technical programmes turn out as Microscope, X-Ray, Ultrasound, Endoscope, CTMR, and Gamma Camera specialists. Stress counselling or nutritionists are also lucrative professions. Behavioural field has two areas of specialisation, Medical Sociology and Medical Psychology. Medical journalism and Health Reporters were also mentioned as rewarding careers. The experts also mentioned that at present there was a dearth of AHPs all around the world. The above-mentioned programmes are currently offered at Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University.
Experts Urge Students:
The sincere advice given by all speakers to the students was to do a thorough background check of the university and a detailed verification on the credibility of the organisation, they wished to apply and to make sure that the programme offered is recognised by the government. Students were warned against enquiring within the organisation and were advised to resort to external sources to find proof of its affiliation. Also, it would be best to opt for a career based on a person's attitude towards a particular field. They were also advised to visit the professionals in the field of interest and enquire about the pros and cons of their practice. Presentation on other non-MBBS disciplines included talks by specialists on Dentistry, Nursing and Homeopathy.
Experts from various science fields provided the students with additional information at the stalls arranged in the premises. The programme gave vital information to students aspiring to be part of the medical fraternity. The final event of the day was a Panel Discussion on 'Adolescent Health' addressing psychological, dietary and obesity issues affecting teenagers. It was a fruitful initiation in the best interests of students.