Health Minister Jonathan Coleman took time out last week to drop in on college students attending a Health Careers Day.

Mr Coleman and Whanganui MP Chester Borrows surprised the nearly 100 students at Whanganui Hospital for the careers day, and spent about 20 minutes chatting with the group.

Mr Coleman told students about his background and the experiences he enjoyed as a doctor, including a stint as a flying doctor in Australia.

Whanganui District Health Board human resources and organisational development manager Hentie Cilliers said the careers day, hosted yearly by the health board, was about investing in the future of the Whanganui health sector.

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"Having the minister of health here to speak to the group was a highlight for the students," he said. "It will be interesting to see if his visit translates into a number of them choosing health as a career.

"We want to help students understand the variety of careers available in health and the pathways in which to realise a career as a health professional. We have staff from a range of roles share their experiences with the students and answer questions. The students get a really good insight into what they may experience across a variety of roles. Hopefully many are inspired by what they hear."