City Students Explore Pre-Med Careers
As NY1 and parent company Time Warner Cable continue their partnership with Connect A Million Minds, highlighting education through science, technology, engineering and math, a group of high schools students in East Harlem are immersing themselves in all of those things by strapping on a few stethoscopes. NY1's Kafi Drexel filed the following report.
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You've heard of going pre-med, but what about pre pre-med? That's exactly what a bunch of high school students are doing as part of the East Harlem Tutorial Program, or EHTP. The after school project's medical program reaches out to high schoolers with the help of students from Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine. The goal is to get young students interested in the field of medicine, and to make up for what may be missing from some of their regular school curriculum.
"We don't have a lack of intelligence in East Harlem. What we have is a lack of resources," said Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine student Nomi Khan. "The schools are great, but the science education is sometimes lacking. The mentoring is sometimes not there. The encouragement is not there. So it was definitely a lack of resources that made us say, 'We are a medical school. We have the facilities. We have the labs. We have the faculties. We have the physicians. Why not create a program where the kids actually have access to it as well?'"
Medical students and professors along with visiting doctors from around the city lead lessons in an actual lecture hall. And those lessons move to teaching labs. A cardiopulmonary patient simulator lab helps students learn the difference between what a healthy and unhealthy heart sounds like -- the same kind of equipment most doctors have been trained on. Students even learn to take blood pressure in patient labs, and learn how to identify disease under the microscope.
"It's cool because you really don't have this advantage in school and it's like more professors and teachers here," said Academy of Environmental Science student Delilah Nieves.
Students in the program are also given the opportunity to work with real human hearts inside Touro's anatomy labs.
"At first the smell of formaldehyde, it kind of shocks you, it just gives a horrible smell. But at the end, once you get used to it you're kind of interested in how the heart looks, and how to grab it and at first you are kind of like 'Oh my God, you're holding a human heart,'" said Central Park East High School student Thalia Chavez.
"Before I wanted to become a lawyer. But now knowing about all the information and getting a chance to go to the lab and look at the heart and observe them and touch them and do a bunch of procedures with them, that made me gear my thoughts more to the medical field," said program participant Eunique Grey.
To find out more about the program, visit www.EHTP.org.
For more information on programs that foster science, technology, engineering and math, visit www.connectamillionminds.com.