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Rachel Tolen
Health Professions and Prelaw Center

Last modified: Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Learn about career, educational opportunities at IU Bloomington Health Programs Fair on March 6

Feb. 29, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- At a time when even college graduates are having difficulty finding employment, rewarding job opportunities continue to be found in health care. Students will be able to learn about a wide variety of health-care career options next week at the 10th annual Indiana University Bloomington Health Programs Fair.

The fair, which is free and open to the public, will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, March 6, in Alumni Hall of the Indiana Memorial Union.

Students get information about health-related careers at a previous IU Bloomington Health Programs Fair.

Representatives of more than 100 schools, programs and organizations will be available to meet with students and answer questions about educational and career opportunities. Health care fields represented will include podiatry, medical physics, respiratory therapy and public health. Information will be available for careers in direct patient care, laboratory work, administration, information technology and other areas.

When the fair first started, it served as an event to showcase a small number of health-related majors and programs; but in the past decade it has expanded to attract schools nationwide, providing IU students with a rare chance to meet with representatives from schools from across the country. The fair allows students to engage in informal networking before submitting applications, which can help them gain a competitive edge in admission.

"Coming to the fair is an eye-opening experience for many students," said Rachel Tolen, assistant director of the IU Bloomington Health Professions and Prelaw Center. "Some students come planning only to meet with one school, and once they are at the fair they end up learning about new health care fields they were not even aware existed."

Careers in medicine are attracting more students than ever before, with the number of first-time applicants to medical schools reaching an all-time high in 2011. However, increases in the numbers of applicants mean that admission becomes even more intensely competitive.

"It is very important for students to do some contingency planning and consider the possibility of alternate careers," Tolen said. "If a student wants a career that involves working directly with patients, for instance, there are many to do it, not just as a physician."

About 700 to 900 students typically attend the Health Programs Fair, and large crowds are expected again this year.

Representatives from IU academic departments will be on hand to discuss majors and courses that can help prepare students for medicine and other health fields. Students will also be able to speak with representatives of health-related student organizations and volunteer agencies from the Bloomington area.

The fair is organized by the Health Professions and Prelaw Center, a unit of the Office of the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education, and by University Division, and is co-sponsored by the IU departments of Applied Health Science, Biology, Chemistry, Human Biology, Kinesiology, Nursing, Physics, Psychological and Brain Sciences, Sociology and Speech and Hearing Sciences.

More information on the Health Programs Fair, including lists of professions and of schools and programs that will be represented, is available online. For questions, contact HPPLC at 812-855-1873 or