WATCHING a human body cut open with blood dripping was not a very pleasant sight for Mansha Khemlani at the Queen Mary's Hospital, but she enjoyed the experience. The 17-year-old was one of 27 students who recently took part in a summer attachment scheme organised by the University of Hong Kong's (HKU) Faculty of Medicine. ''I've to admit it was a bit scary, but it taught me to appreciate life,'' said the St Mary's Canossian College student. Recommended by their school principals for the month-long project, the youngsters were mainly Form Six biology students. The programme, in its second year, gives potential medical students an opportunity to have an insight into the profession by working as ward attendants. Faculty associate dean Dr Raymond Liang said the exposure helped the students find out if they had the right personality or attitude for the career. However, Mansha, Timothy Liu Cheung-kay and Justin Choi Wai-keung said the experience only strengthened their desire to enter the medical profession. ''I never thought I would witness three deliveries in the maternity ward! It wasn't a very pleasant sight though, but it was a beautiful process,'' said Mansha, who wants to study obstetrics and gynaecology. The three, however, also saw the sadder side of the life in a hospital. ''I was very upset to see an elderly woman having her lower limb removed by the surgeons in the operation theatre,'' Justin, a Hong Kong Wah Yan College student, said. But for St Paul's Co-educational College's Timothy, whose job involved helping nurses to change patients' diapers and disposing their waste, the experience turned out to be an ''unforgettable'' one. ''I saw the humble side of the profession and I was glad to find meaning even in those little chores,'' Timothy said. He hopes to join the French aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres in the future. Running parallel to HKU's summer project was Queen Mary Hospital's own volunteer assistanceship programme. Hospital chief executive Dr Vivian Taam Wong said their programme was a voluntary exercise for students of any discipline from 15 to 22 years old and allowed flexible work hours. Call the hospital on 855-3022 for information about the programme.