Southern Utah

New program helping kids prepare to become doctors

IVINS (News4Utah) - A new program is helping kids prepare at a younger age to become doctors.

Rocky Vista University is Utah's second medical school, which opened less than a year ago in southern Utah. 

Students there are helping children prepare for their future. 

Lydia White, 10, had what she calls her first white coat ceremony, not her last.

She says she wants to be a doctor one day to help people. 

"When they have babies I want to be able to take care of their babies, or when they get really old and can't take care of themselves, I want to help them," said Lydia.

 "... to see her graduate and become a doctor, how cool that would be, to watch her, it would be very proud moment for her dad," said Lydia's Father Brandon White.

Twenty-six fifth graders from Red Mountain Elementary School were able to participate in the weekly medical classes all school year taught by medical students.  On Wednesday they received their certificates. 

"I learned about the chambers of the heart, sections of the brain, and I learned about what the flap in the back of your throat is called - the epiglottis," said Lydia. 

"When this school was being built, I immediately sent an email off and said: 'Hey we want to be your partners'," said Red Mountain Elementary School Principal Amy Mitchell. 

"Thought this was a wonderful opportunity to give Utah Students that spark, that inspiration to prepare them to become future doctors, and help take care of the population of Utah in the future," said David Park, Campus Dean of Rocky Vista University. 

 Sixty-two percent of Red Mountain Elementary School students are on free or reduced lunch. 

"I hope just seeing themselves in these white coats, and the pictures they took today, I hope they put them in a prominent place, and see that and know that that is now an option," said Mitchell. 

"I've read lots and lots of medical school application essays, and it is amazing how many essays I read about students determining that they wanted to be a physician when they were around this age group, said Park. 

"The best thing that I learned probably was that I can be anything that I want. It takes hard work, but once you achieve it, you can do anything," said Lydia. 

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