Dr. Sarah Harbin encouraged Bartow County business leaders Thursday to lead children to a future profession for which they have a passion. The health care profession has so much more to offer than doctors and nurses, she said.
“I didn’t even know what a physical therapist was when I was in school,” she said.
Harbin spoke at the Adairsville Council of the Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce Business Breakfast. She told the business leaders that the health care industry needs to take a positive approach when looking at the future of health care.
“It is changing. It is changing rapidly, and whether or not we like how it changes, that’s not going to mean the need for physicians is any different. It’s actually more,” Harbin said. “You want to find people who are passionate for this work, who want to be physicians, who realize that the greatest reward is to care for the patients. Regardless of how things change in health care, that part of it can never be taken away.”
The Rome resident who works in the Harbin Family Practice office in Adairsville spoke about the process of guiding students into appropriate career paths.
“You want someone who is dedicated to their job, people that are dedicated to it,” she said.
Harbin said that when counseling young people, one of the first things she does is to remind them that the decisions they make in high school will follow them forever.
“We have to insist that quality math and science is being taught to our children,” Harbin said. “We don’t want innovations to be coming from other countries. We want American companies to be coming up with the newest and best in technology.”
Harbin also said that students need to be taught to be critical thinkers in high school.
“In medicine, the days of ‘This is just the way I do it’ are over,” Harbin said.
Even younger children need to be taught that they are going to have to be lifelong learners, she added. “To take care of patients is a gift, and it should be treated as such,” Harbin said. “We all should do our part to ensure that people are a good match for their fields and to help kids explore the different opportunities that are available to them.”
In other business, the Bartow business leaders heard an update about the rapidly growing Junior Reserve Officer Training School program at Adairsville High School.
When the program started in 2005 it had approximately 60 cadets. Today the number of students enrolled in the Army JROTC program is more than double that number.
Maj. David Sexauer said the Adairsville program, for both male and female students, ranked among the top 10 nationally in competitions earlier this year. The Adairsville units also were top ranked in Georgia in academic competitions.