BAKERSFIELD - Kaiser Permanente hosted 45 students from Sierra Middle School today, as part of a mentoring program that lets students see the realities of working in medicine.
"We create an atmosphere that is easy to ask questions and answer questions," said Dr. Joel Ramirez with Kaiser Permanente. "So we will break them into little groups and they will rotate throughout the various departments."
Students observed a laryngoscopy where they saw the inside active vocal cords, studied x-rays and sat down with a ophthalmologist to learn more about eye diseases
For one eighth grader that wants to work in medicine, her trip to Kaiser let her learn in a way a traditional classroom hasn't.
"It's pretty cool because I could put my direct attention on something that I want and not just an overview of everything at the same time," said Daisia Arana, an eighth grader at Sierra Middle School.
Another student said she wants to be a nurse surgeon and the program helped her realize her dream job might be obtainable.
"There job is really hard, you have to study, but if you keep going at it - it isn't impossible," Melan Calderon said, also an eighth grader from Sierra Middle School.
Even if these students don't go on to become doctors, the mentors at Kaiser Permanente hope these middle schoolers will continue to learn.
"We can talk to them about the process of applying to college, the process of applying for financial aid, getting scholarships - I think that would be our ultimate goal," Ramirez said. "Of course we would like all of them to become doctors."
The trip to Kaiser Permanenete is part of the Hippocrates Circle Program. The program consists of four additional events. After completing the program, students participate in a graduation ceremony and receive a stethoscope.