Research Physics Field Trip AAA Students Get Hands-on Look at Medicine

July 01, 2006 | Jondelle McGhee

Twelve students from Auburn Adventist Academy (AAA) recently got a firsthand look at modern medicine and its connections to physics. As part of the school's Research Physics class, a five-day field trip to Loma Linda University (LLU) offered students exposure to possible medical careers.

Clad in professional attire, including white coats, the high school students observed surgeries, talked with medical specialists and spent late nights in the Emergency Room.

The visit included stops at LLU’s Medical Simulation Center, School of Dentistry, Emergency Department, surgery wards, cadaver lab, proton accelerator, and Behavioral Medical Center.

The whirlwind trip of intense on-site education allowed students to learn a month’s worth of information in just a few days.

“It is really cool how much a trip like this can make an impact on a person’s life,” said Sam Steele, of Spanaway, Wash.

Research Physics is also making a difference in shaping students' plans for the future. Ryan Gratias, of Auburn, Wash., observed an open-heart surgery. He said it was one of the most exciting moments of his life, inspiring him to seriously consider a medical career.

"I’ve always been interested in building and fixing stuff," he said. "I think it would be the most amazing and rewarding experience to work on the only thing in this world God molded with His hands.”

Christina Poh, an international student from Thailand, decided to become a doctor after her father was killed in a car accident. She wants to give others a second chance at life as a tribute to her father.

"After taking Research Physics, I have resolved to become a neurosurgeon...I aspire to become a person that could change someone’s life for the better."