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High schoolers have the time of their lives by learning how to save them

Posted at 4:30 AM, Jul 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-16 04:30:15-04

EDGEWOOD, Ky. -- Summer for most high schoolers means kicking back and relaxing by the pool or on the beach. 

But some local high school students spent part of their break in scrubs.

They're participating in St. Elizabeth's Medical Observation Opportunity Network, or M.O.O.N., program. The program goes for four days and allows students to see the day-to-day life of a physician.

Students follow physicians as they make their rounds and when they meet with patients in their offices . They also go into the operating room.

"They see anything that is coming through the doors," said Christina Bryant, M.O.O.N. program coordinator. "It's one thing to see a surgery on TV, on YouTube. It's another thing to experience it firsthand."

The program is named after Dr. Ryan Moon, a general and bariatric surgeon for St. Elizabeth, who said he wanted to start a program for students based on their passion for medicine and service, not their GPAs.

"There's no GPA requirement," said Moon. "We want to see that they have some sense of community or service. So, we do look for that."

Sophia Forlenza, a Ryle High School junior, knew she wanted to work in medicine since she was in elementary school.

"When I was in the fourth grade, my dad almost died of a heart attack called the widow maker," she said. "And, that was like my wake up call, knowing that I knew I wanted to be in medicine."

The program is in its second year, but its popularity caused the number of students applying to more than double from the first year.

"One of the reasons why the kids like our program so much is because the enthusiasm is not faked," Moon said. "You know, the passion is real."