Nedlands: surgeons of tomorrow hone their skills in Future Doctors program

Dr Anton Scheepers, one of the Future Doctors program directors with student from around Perth. 30 hand-selected high school students from across the state are taking part in an immersive medical program, Future Doctors. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au   d478309
Dr Anton Scheepers, one of the Future Doctors program directors with student from around Perth. 30 hand-selected high school students from across the state are taking part in an immersive medical program, Future Doctors. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d478309

YOUNG aspiring doctors, surgeons and medical masterminds are taking part in unique immersive workshops in Nedlands this week.

Thirty hand-selected high school students are attending sessions at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, learning how to suture a wound, scrub up for surgery and treat a fracture.

Future Doctors runs in countries around the world, with the Perth program a collaboration between Scitech, The Apprentice Doctor and the Perkins.

Program director Dr Anton Scheepers started the high school training initiative at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa.

“We saw a group of students once a week, and the program just grew,” he said.

“This is our second year in Perth, and if you look at some of the student applications, they’re so high level.”

Dr Scheepers said the program gave students another chance to stand out in the competitive world of medical degree applications, and it was rewarding to teach teenagers the basics of medicine.

“If you treat a patient in your practice, you’ll affect one life; if you teach, you’ll affect 30 lives,” he said.

Scitech Future Doctors event coordinator Taylor Bartels said the program was a unique opportunity to get experience in an industry that may otherwise be unattainable to high school students.

“The Future Doctors program bridges the gap between education and the medical industry itself,” she said.

Kent Street SHS student Orlarne Marche (14) said the program firmed her ambition to become a cardiothoracic surgeon, and it was incredible to take part in the workshops and meet like-minded students.

“My mum has MS, and that’s how the passion to help people came up,” she said.

“I see firsthand what it’s like having someone in the family who’s ill and seeing what I can do about it.”

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