LAWTON, Ok (KSWO) - Oklahoma State University's Operation Orange came to Lawton today to inspire high school students to consider a career in medicine. The aspiring medical students were challenged with a laparoscopic simulator where they learned surgical techniques, along with CPR chest compression training.
OSU's medical school has a mission to send primary care physicians to rural Oklahoma, and today's mini summer camp is an important part of getting that accomplished.
"To me, it's so amazing to give back," said OSU med student Christopher McNeil. "I'm here because of someone else's sacrifices so I love to come back and help instill a dream someone gave to me and pay that forward."
McNeil is from Lawton and is in his second year of studying osteopathic medicine. He's among a group of 25 who are the driving force behind Operation Orange. They're teaching high schoolers some of the skills they'll learn in medical school.
"I'm teaching Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine," McNeil said. "We're able to work with the muscular skeletal system and allow the body to help heal itself at a faster pace."
75 high school students participated in the outreach program today at Cameron University. Dr. Christopher Thurman is the Associate Dean of Clinical Education at OSU and says the interaction between the high school students and med students means more than anything when deciding on a future in the medical field.
"They're getting hands on training by the medical students," Dr. Thurman said. "They're getting all their questions answered and it really takes some of the unknowns out of the equation when considering what they want to do."
Operation Orange travels to primarily rural areas across Oklahoma, something much appreciated by Marlow High School's Madison Baker.
"I love that OSU is trying to help us find out what we want to do in the future and it's an awesome opportunity," said Baker.
Operation Orange is a free, one-day camp for grades 9 through 12. There are still several camps scheduled in different parts of Oklahoma. The next one will be held in Enid on June 12th. For more information on how to register, visit OSU's Center for Health Sciences website.