Future Doctors Attend Summer Camp

Future doctors, nurses and other health care professionals are wrapping up a four week summer camp at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

Eighteen high school seniors are earning college credit while getting a competitive head start on their medical careers.

It's part of a program called the "Rural Health Care Explorers".

"As we're looking at the front portion here, tell me the different parts," said the teacher, as she held up a plastic skull.

High school seniors put their heads together in this Anatomy and Physiology lab. The aspiring medical professionals are wrapping up a four week scholastic summer camp.

"It was a great program. You get college credits, I believe it's seven of them. And you get a step ahead of other classmates as you graduate. And it's an advantage," said Brian Tanner, a senior at East Central High in Jackson County.

Jessica Neely will need to know the bones. She's considering radiology as a career and especially enjoyed the field trips to hospitals.

"The first time we went to Biloxi Regional. And it was nice. You, I saw a mastectomy and I saw a whole bunch of procedures and it was really interesting," she explained.

The soon-to-be high school seniors found challenge in these college classrooms.

Sarah Tringle is the college biology instructor who helped oversee the explorer summer camp.

"I think the first test they went, whoa! Then they find out just how much they have to put in. And this group has been so competitive. They're trying to outdo one another," she said.

St. Martin senior, Casey Knight, enjoyed the whole summer camp experience.

"I got to experience meeting new people. Spending three and a half weeks with them, it's been great. The studying is what really got us. But we became really good friends. When you needed someone to study with, somebody always had somebody staying up until three o'clock in the morning studying," she said.

The future doctors and nurses and radiologists will likely long remember their learning skills and skull sessions on the campus at Perk.

The medical explorers program is open to high school juniors and seniors It's funded by a state grant. Students are required to pay only a thirty five dollar registration fee.