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Kids in Medicine

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WSVN -- This is Tony Hansberry's version of a video game, but the 14-year-old's not going for a high score, he's sharpening his surgery skills.

Tony Hansberry: "I've always had a passion for medicine."

The high school freshman designed a study that's now benefiting medical students twice his age.

Tony Hansberry: "The project I did was basically the comparison of novel Iaparoscopic instruments in doing an hysterectomy repair."

Tony sounds more like a medical researcher than a teenager, but his research found that a specialized sewing tool is quicker than a traditional needle for a particular kind of surgery. Now, medical professor Brent Seibel wants to make a change in class.

Dr. Bren Seibel: "I didn't include that device as one of the stations or steps we use in the simulation center, but now I will."

What's the whiz kid's secret to success? His dad says he made learning fun.

Tony Hansberry: "Being able to capture a child and understand what a child's interests might be is important."

Educators are using high school internships and other programs to boost the number of young people interested in medicine. Duke University student Josh Sommer is still in college, but he's also making a big mark on medicine.

Josh Sommer: "When you're 18 years old and you say, 'OK, I have a disease, the average survival is seven years, you start thinking, what am I going to do in the next five years?"

A rare bone cancer threatens his life, but Josh works alongside scientists to find a cure. He also runs the Chordoma Foundation, raising money for research and awareness for kids pushing the limits of science.

Tony Hansberry: "It's not hard if you have a passion for it."

Proof that age doesn't matter if you want to change the face of medicine.


Dr. Valerie Goode

Kids in MedicineKelly Brockmeier, Media RelationsShands

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