If you didn't figure out what this post is about by reading the title, I guess I can spell it out. It is never too early to start networking with professionals in your field (or any field for that matter). This article is not limited to the health care field.
I was recently inspired by a first year (technically, first month) student who told me that "it is too early to start networking". Fine, I understand that in first year there are a ton of new things/courses/people/knowledge/sleep patterns that make you not able to or straight up not want to do extra stuff surrounding school - and that is totally, 100% fine.
I'm not a professional...yet, but I can see it unfolding every day and as that vision unfolds, I can't do it alone. I need a "guy" for almost everything if I want to start really marketing myself or want to start a clinic. I need a "construction guy", a "marketing guy", an "I.T. guy", a "designer guy", and of course don't forget the "finance guys" because lets be honest, money managing is hard sometimes. Do you know what this is called? (whispers....) a network.
You never know when you will meet someone that you will be able to call on for whatever reason down the road be it inside your profession or not. Your profession is so much bigger than what you learn in school and to have people to call on for help when you are in a crisis is not something that is just handed to you. You have to earn that sh-t.
Someone once told me and I'm sure you have heard the same "It's not how much you know, its who you know that takes you places". Totally! If two similarly qualified people are at a job interview and the interviewer has had a prior positive conversation at some recruiting event (for instance) with person A but has never seen/heard of person B, who do you think will be going to work on Monday? (Side note: keep studying because its handy to know stuff.)
So get out there and ask questions, be present and introduce yourself.
Lastly, if you have not created a LinkedIn profile, get on it. It is NEVER too early to start networking.