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Students at Young Middle Magnet School participate in a science lab facilitated by Mentoring in Medicine, which visited Young and five other middle schools.

Medical mentors expose students to future career options

January 09, 2018 - Partners in Education

There was no bleu cheese or ranch with these chicken wings, but their purpose was an appetizer of sorts for students at six Hillsborough County middle schools. Students dissected the wings during a science lab guided by Mentoring in Medicine, a national organization that aims to get students excited about careers in the medicine field.

At Young Middle Magnet, the mentoring group’s Chief Operating Officer, Andrew Morrison, worked with students in Selena Lewis’ class. Area pre-med students assisted, helping students suit up in gowns, gloves and surgical masks.

He connected students’ current interests to potential futures. Good at video games? You’ll be great at biomedical engineering or robotic surgery. Love dance? The study of movement is important for cancer researchers.

“Nobody is smarter than you,” Morrison told the students. “Some people just know more words.”

He encouraged students to study Latin.

“If you learn Latin, your vocabulary will increase significantly,” Morrison said.

And he encouraged students to stay curious about the world around them.

“The minute you ask a question,” he said, “you’re a scientist.

In addition to Young, Mentoring in Medicine also led labs at Monroe, Sligh Magnet, Stewart Magnet, Webb and Wilson middle schools. Students such as Young seventh-graders Teany and Maria used plastic knives to search for ligaments and tendons, to locate blood vessels and more.

They understood the activity’s larger lesson, to never give up. The other message was for the students to consider careers in medicine: The United States will need 5.6 million more healthcare workers by 2020, according to a study from Georgetown University.

Maria does want to work in the medicine field, hopefully as a veterinarian. But after that lab, don’t expect her to order chicken anytime soon: “It was gross!”

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