RIT on TV News: Medical Careers for the Deaf

Uploaded by RITUniversityNews on 25.05.2010

>> ANCHOR: Two leading universities that serve deaf and hard-of-hearing students are teaming
up to encourage more deaf individuals to enter the health care field. Congresswoman Louise
Slaughter announced the creation of a task force on health care careers for the deaf
and hard of hearing in Washington this week. With a continued shortage of qualified health
care workers, proponents say this effort is long overdue. YNN health reporter Casey Bortnick
>> REPORTER: With just one final exam left
>> KYLE GAHAGAN: They told me it was going to be hard.
>> REPORTER: Kyle Gahagan is cramming.
>> KYLE GAHAGAN: To get into medical school you need to have a high GPA.
>> REPORTER: The college freshman knows he'll need more than good grades to become a doctor.
>> KYLE GAHAGAN: I have people that understand the needs of the deaf and hard of hearing.
>> REPORTER: Kyle is enrolled at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. An institute
of higher learning that Kyle says has opened doors for him.
>> KYLE GAHAGAN: The support that I have here is what I want to have in medical school.
>> REPORTER: It's the kind of support Dr. Michael McKee didn't have.
>> DR. McKEE: I was born deaf.
>> REPORTER: Even before entering medical school, McKee says he had a hard time changing
attitudes including his own.
>> DR. McKEE: At that time, I thought it was impossible for a deaf individual to get into
the field of medicine.
>> REPORTER: Now a family physician with Lifetime Health, a cochlear implant and a special stethoscope
helps him hear his patient's heart beat.
>> DR. McKEE: I feel actually that it was a really good fit for me.
>> REPORTER: With the health care field experiencing a shortage of doctors and nurses, McKee says
it's time to open the medical field for the deaf.
>> DR. McKEE: We need that diversity. The task force I think will allow some of those
barriers to be broken down.
>> REPORTER: For Kyle, becoming a doctor is more than just a career goal.
>> KYLE: When I was 12, my mom died of cancer.
>> REPORTER: He says the compassion doctors showed his mother in her final days inspired
him to want to help others.
>> KYLE: I think she'd be happy for me cause I know she knows I'm doing something that
I want to do.
>> REPORTER: McKee also works for the National Center for Deaf Health Research through the
University of Rochester Medical Center, the same organization that offered Kyle an internship.
And Amy, after some time off in his hometown of Baltimore, it's right back to work for
Kyle. He'll be right back here in Rochester this summer.
>> ANCHOR: All right, we wish him the best.
>> REPORTER: We do.
>> ANCHOR: Casey Bortnick, thank you.