Teaching students the value of medicine

May 15, 2011 4:48:57 PM PDT
Broken bones and fractures is the topic of discussion for Dr. Lisa Ipp, as she speaks to an audience in the Bronx.

What is unusual about her lecture is who she is speaking to. Dr. Ipp's audience is a group of public school students from Global Technology Preparatory.

The children chose this apprenticeship at the Hospital for Special Surgery, where they will learn the ins and outs of what it takes to become medical professionals.

The children's apprenticeship is actually very important to the future of patients because of an expectant shortage of medical professionals that are predicted to start declining in the next ten years.

In fact, the predicted shortages that will need to be filled in the next ten years or so are a quarter million nurses and 90,000 doctors.

Hospital for Special Surgery CEO Louis Shapiro also realizes how important it is for children to go into the medical field.

"We have baby boomers aging. We have increasing demand for health care and primary physicians, orthopedic surgeons, nurses and so on. We need to encourage young kids to pick this as a great career," Shapiro said.

One of the procedures the kids from Global Technology Prep, a school within PS 7 are learning is how to make a cast. They have been taught how important perfect positioning is for the bone to heal right.

The kids at Global Technology Prep are also looking at digital X-rays of bones with radiologists and X-ray technicians. They are being shown artificial knees and the latest in hip replacement technology.

There are some kids that are a little intimidated at the thought of being a surgeon. Eleven-year old sixth grader, Elmar Mero is one of those students.

"It's scary because you have to put these pieces of metal in your knee and in your hip," Mero said.

However, other children like 11-year old William Fredericks, are quite comfortable with the procedures. They feel that dealing with broken bones and fractures could be a piece of cake.

"I like replacing the hip. It looked really easy. I learned it in five minutes," Fredericks said.

Nothing beats confidence. As long as the children have that, they can make it happen. The good thing is the ones that are intimidated with the idea of being a medical profession have time to become comfortable with it.

Twelve-year old Tiffani DuBose is one child who is gaining more confidence as she goes on.

"I believe in myself and I think if I try harder, I could do it," DuBose said.

You never know what a seed of thought will grow into.

The children of Global Technology Prep are not the first group of kids to learn about being doctors and nurses and they won't be the last.

The Hospital for Special Surgery has been doing this for about five years now and they have new classes approximately every 1-3 months.