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Lang Youth Medical Scholars Shadow Dr. Ghatan

Lang Youth Medical Scholars; Marlin Morel, Nicole Avila, Augustin Diaz, & Karen Mejia with Dr. Ghatan

This summer, kids from the Lang Youth Medical Program got to view brain surgery with Dr. Saadi Ghatan from the Pediatric Neurosurgery Center.

They were all middle or high school students from the Washington Heights area who participate in Lang’s six-year science education and mentoring program sponsored by New York Presbyterian Hospital.

We caught up with two of the kids: Sixteen year old Nicole Avila, who has been in the program for five years; and 14 year old Augustin Diaz, who is entering his third year. They were both enthusiastic about the program as well as their day with Dr. Ghatan.

“Dr. Ghatan is awesome,” said Nicole. “He seems very prepared and with lots of experience. He really cares about the patient’s life. The whole process of the surgery was unexpected because I thought that brain surgery was way more simple than it actually is.”

Augustin said, “At first, when I heard that I was going to see surgery, I was overwhelmed with excitement and at the same time frightened. This mask I had to wear bothered me and I felt as if I weren’t breathing well. But after the surgery began, I felt normal and even forgot I had the mask on. It was great how Dr. Ghatan explained each step that he was going to take.”

This fall, Nicole and Augustin will begin another year in the Lang Program, both with an eye toward a career in medicine.  Augustin says, after seeing Dr. Ghatan at work, the field of Neurosurgery is now high on his list.

patient journey

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