UPPER EAST SIDE (WABC) -- One hospital is trying to get young teens interested in medicine, and it begins with the scalpel.
Some junior high school students got a chance to dissect sheep brains as part of a program that's inspiring would-be doctors.
It's not exactly your typical day at school but these 7th and 8th graders are spending the day at Mount Sinai Medical Center for an up close look at what life might be like as a medical student.
Yes, they'll be using scalpels and the brains once belonged to sheep.
The students are minorities and from disadvantaged backgrounds.
They're invited to Mount Sinai's Center for Excellence in Youth Education with the hopes of getting them excited about a career in medicine.
"The cornerstone of all of our programming is the hands on piece. So we really want the students engaged in hands-on curriculum, doing science, doing dissections and being here in the hospital," said Alison Davis, CEYE at Mount Sinai.
The students are teamed up with medical students.
It allows these younger students to envision themselves up there one day.
"I actually think it's really great. We're able to learn about the brain and learn about who we actually are as humans and the parts of us that we really aren't able to see every day," said Jossie Rivera, a student.
Jossie Rivera can see herself becoming a doctor, so does Kevin Marrero.
"My father is a construction worker so I've also wanted to be one since I was small and I would do many projects with sharp tools so the scalpel was like another mini project to me," Marrero said.
And while Michael thinks he'd rather be an engineer, dissecting a brain came pretty easy.
"If you think about it, this was an animal before and you know, I didn't really feel comfortable, but you know after a while you just kind of get used to it," said Michael Nova, a student.
And the program hopes to keep these students in the pipeline, with courses offered through high school and summer programs during college.
The medical world needs doctors of diverse backgrounds and these students fit the bill.
For more information please visit: http://www.amsny.org/initiatives/diversity-medicine/science-and-technology-entry-programs-step
Junior high students learn at Mount Sinai through hands-on experience
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