Coastline College proudly presents their distinguished faculty through the Teacher Feature blog series. This week’s feature showcases Dr. Henry Professor, Anatomy and Physiology Biological Sciences, and Allied Health Curriculum Committee Co-Chair. Dr. Henry gives Coastline students excellent advice for working in healthcare!
Dr. Henry traveling in Antartica!
What inspired you to get into teaching and specifically teaching about biological sciences?
I have always been a teacher. In college, I assisted in all the biology labs and ran the embryology lab. In medical school, I taught anatomy lab, neuroscience lab, and histology lab. I have trained residents in neurosurgery. Teaching is an integral part of me.
What do you want students to know about your courses?
My courses are designed to create life-long learners. My online courses are open-book and open-notes as this is how we now get information. However, as most of my students are entering the healthcare fields, the courses are designed to develop the critical thinking skills they will need when examining a patient and taking a patient history.
What do you love about working at Coastline College?
What are some tips for students who are interested in working in healthcare?
What kind of healthcare innovation have you seen take place in the past 10 years?
Technology has blossomed in the surgical field as it has in our day-to-day lives. We can make smaller incisions anywhere on the body by using a "global positioning system" between the MRI image and the patient. And the ability to develop a COVID-19 vaccination within a year would not have been possible 10 years ago.
Can you please shed some light on the nursing shortage issue?
We have a nation-wide shortage of healthcare workers. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing projects almost 180,000 openings for nurses annually over the next decade. Part of the shortage is due to the lack of faculty to train nurses. Nurses make more money in practice of nursing than in the education of future nurses. The Association of Medical Colleges reports a shortage of between 21,400 and 55,200 general care physicians and of between 33,700 and 86,700 physicians in specialty care by 2032. Healthcare will always have open doors for those who wish to dedicate their career to talking care of others.
What can you tell us about your time doing locum tenens (traveling neurosurgery in underserved areas) ?
There are nearly 6000 hospitals in the United States but only about 3600 practicing neurosurgeons. Because neurosurgery is such a demanding field and requires specialized surgical instruments, neurosurgeons cluster in large centers of population. This makes access to care difficult for rural patients. Locum tenens allowed me to relieve the single neurosurgeon in an area so they could take a break. I found it refreshing to have more time with a patient working a clinic in an underserved area than I would have in a large clinical practice.
What are some of your favorite interests?
Travel is #1 and I am happy to say I just returned from Antartica. It is truly an isolated area of the world. I am now finished with seeing all seven continents. In August, I will be traveling to Oberammergau, Germany for the Passion Play that is presented every 10 years and the Floriade in the Netherlands, which is also every 10 years.
Photo credit: Dr. Henry, while traveling in Antartica!
What was your birthplace?
I was born in a small, industrialized town in Ohio. I lived in Buffalo, Boston, New Jersey, Cleveland, Dallas, Waco, Houston, Syracuse, and central Texas before finally making it out to Southern California.
At Coastline College we do our best to showcase the professors who work at Coastline with our weekly teacher feature series. If you are looking to enroll in Biological classes at Coastline College check them out here! Big shout out to Dr. and Professor Henry who participated this week in our teacher feature! Check out our previous teacher features and stay tuned for our next teacher feature.