Five pupils have had their first taste of a doctor's life - and found it was nothing like what happens on TVB drama Healing Hands.
'Doctors in the drama are always relaxing. Doctors in real life, however, are extremely busy and have stacks of paperwork waiting for them, even after they get home,' said Angela Yam Pui-woo of Maryknoll Convent School, one of the five pupils, who are all in Form Five.
The Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology at the University of Hong Kong set up a scheme for teenagers this year to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
Five students were selected to attend workshops on surgery equipment and acquire first-hand experience by shadowing doctors over a period of two weeks.
The youngsters said they were inspired by the experience - the first offered to non-university students.
La Salle College student Gary Kai Yuen-ming was an apprentice of Dr Margaret Fok Woon-man, an orthopaedic specialist, and he had the opportunity to witness a leg replacement on a boy with bone cancer with an orthopaedic leg brace. 'It made me realise that health cannot be taken for granted and therefore we must treasure what we possess now,' Kai said.
Yam said she was impressed by the passion and the high level of commitment the doctors showed, and appreciated the responsibility of the medical profession.
Likewise, the doctors were impressed with the students. They commended them for their ability to think clearly and their willingness to get involved with medical practice.
Dr Keith Luk Dip Kei, a specialist, said the scheme was set up to allow students to acquire knowledge of orthopaedics and traumatology. 'People in Hong Kong do not know enough about the medical profession, and understand even less regarding particular fields in the profession,' Luk said.
'It is our wish for them to bring back to their communities the knowledge they have acquired over these two weeks.'
The five students plan to visit community organisations to educate the elderly on the prevention of conditions related to orthopaedics and traumatology. The two disciplines deal mainly with the reparative treatment of the muscular and skeletal system, including hip replacements and the repair of ankle fractures.
When the students were asked whether the experience had reinforced their desire to become doctors, Dulcia Chang-ling of Maryknoll Convent School said: 'The experience, which enabled me to meet many people in need, has reinforced my ambition of becoming a doctor to help these people.'
This year's budget, in Hong Kong dollars, of the Department of Health, which is some 13 per cent of the Hospital Authority's budget'