"You need a lot of focus," said 11-year-old Roosemdy Saint-Fort as he practiced removing a computerized piece of tissue in the Carl J. Shapiro Simulation and Skills Lab.
Saint-Fort was one of two dozen members of the 2008 Red Sox Scholars program who toured BIDMC, visiting the skills lab and the NICU. The program, launched in 2003 and funded by the Red Sox Foundation, rewards 25 academically talented, but economically disadvantaged Boston Public School fifth graders with $10,000 college scholarships. BIDMC has been the proud "presenting sponsor" of the program with staff serving as Medical Champions. The students were inducted over the summer. Now sixth graders, they came from middle schools all around the city to tour the medical center.
In the skills lab, the students learned how medical students and residents practice procedures using computer programs and robots, honing their skills for surgery on actual patients. Alex Derevianko, MD, MA, Simulation and Skills Training Specialist, and Darren Tavernelli, RN, showed the scholars the operating room robot with 32 motors allowing it to exhibit symptoms of a variety of diseases.
"It's like a quiz for doctors," Phinix Knight-Jacks, 11, said.
Over in the NICU, the students learned about the hospital's tiniest and youngest patients with a tour led by DeWayne Pursley, MD, Chief, Neonatology. The scholars peeked in on three sets of twins and one set of triplets, learning that three factors determine when a baby will be discharged.
"They have to be able to eat, breath and maintain their temperature," Shadiyah Joseph, 11, said. "I also learned that ribs protect the lungs and heart."
For Saint-Fort, the tour gave him a sneak preview into a profession he hopes to someday pursue. "This is awesome - better than I thought," he said. "I want to be either a physician or a scientist."