STAFF PROFILE: Previously a doctor, Helke Farin teaches health sciences at Davis High

PHOTO: Helke Farin decided to become a teacher after being a doctor in Colorado for many years.

By Emma Carney, Staff–

Before joining the Davis schools in 2019, Helke Farin worked as a doctor in Colorado. Now, Farin is responsible for the new Health Sciences and Medical Technology Career Tech Education program at Davis High.

Since completing her medical degree at the University of Chicago, Farin has worked for the National Institutes of Health and completed her residency in internal medicine at Stanford University.

While working in medicine for the University of Colorado, Farin decided to become a teacher.

“I like preventative medicine and I like education so I figured out a way to meld the two,” Farin said.

Farin also enjoys working with teenagers, which influenced her decision to become a teacher. “It’s a really special time in someone’s life and to be a part of that is great,” Farin said.

Farin described the transition to teaching as smooth. She believes the skills she developed while working in medicine, such as quick thinking and multitasking, helped her become a better teacher especially during the transition to online learning.

This year, Farin’s courses focus on medicine and health sciences. Currently she is teaching her students about forensic medicine.

Many of the hands-on elements of the class have been put on hold due to the distance learning measures. However, Farin sees the pandemic as an opportunity to teach her students about how viruses affect the body and how vaccine trials are conducted.

Sean Seo, one of Farin’s students, said each day they have a new lesson and activities to go with it. He agreed that one of the class’s biggest challenges with distance learning is the inability to do hands-on work. “We just have to take existing data and learn from that, instead,” Seo said.

Despite these challenges, Farin is still able to connect with and engage her students. 

“[Farin] is really nice. […] She tries to get everyone engaged,” Seo said.

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