RIT on TV News: Medical Careers for the Deaf


>>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 explains.>>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.

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