By Rachel Wulff

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Seniors from one Oak Park high school took a field trip to UC Davis Medical Center, charting their potential careers in the field of medicine.

Rachel Segundo was drilling down on her surgical skills. This senior at Sacramento Charter High School is heading to Sacramento State, hoping to enter the medical field.

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“I want to be a gynecologist,” she said. “I’ve always liked learning about the body, and I’m a female and I liked learning about my own body.”

This hands-on experience was headed up by head and neck surgeons and residents at the hospital.

Steven Dennis is a fifth-year resident who says motivation and drive make a great surgeon, but so does creativity.

“There’s so many different variables, so many different nuances to each person,” Dennis said. “And we’re doing lots of surgeries that are quality of life, bring back quality of life, so you have to cater the surgery to the person and what’s important to them.”

Dennis added, “So if we’re just fixing a broken jaw — let’s say after an accident — that’s usually a 2- to 3-hour surgery.”

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Nearby, Dr. Andrew Birkeland worked with students Josh and Lamont.

Not all students are interested in medicine, but screwing metal plates into skull models helps them better understand what it takes.

“Sometimes from our cancer surgeries, if we’re taking parts of the jaw out — taking out the lymph nodes in the neck and then borrowing parts from other parts of the body to rebuild the jaw, and then putting the plate on — that’s about a 10- to 14-hour surgery,” Birkeland said.

Segundo was soaking in the learning experience.

“I like to be hands-on. It felt awesome. I kind of like this,” she said.

Segundo was glad for the opportunity to partner with some of the best and bring in other students into the health care industry just like her. Hispanics make up less than 6% of physicians. Blacks, less than five.

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This was the second one of these field trips with this high school. UC Davis Medical Center hopes to make it a tradition every year.