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Interview With Sho Yano, 12-Year-Old Medical Student

Aired August 25, 2003 - 19:51   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: You may remember the hit TV show about a high school-aged teenager who was already through medical school and in his own practice.
Well, meet the real life Doogie Howser, 12-year-old Sho Yano, the youngest student ever accepted by the University of Chicago Medical School.

He is in our Chicago bureau.

Sho, thanks for being with us tonight.

SHO YANO, 12-YEAR-OLD MEDICAL STUDENT: Thanks.

COOPER: I know you probably should be studying so we appreciate you taking a couple of minutes away from your studies. Why did you want to go to medical school?

YANO: Medical school -- I was always interested in science and medicine. And I also always wanted to help people. And medicine and science and being a doctor seemed like the perfect combination. And also with this...

COOPER: Go ahead.

YANO: OK. So also with this -- this is an M.D. Ph.D. program, so I can also do research in science.

COOPER: I know, you're really slacking off. You're getting your M.D. and your Ph.D. But you know, it's pretty amazing.

I understand your mom still drive drives you to school every day. She packs a brown bag lunch for you. How did the other young people in medical school look at you? I mean, what did they think when you first showed up the first day?

YANO: I don't know, honestly. I'll have to ask them about it. But...

COOPER: Do you hang out with them? Do you have friends among your fellow students?

YANO: Oh, yes. There are only 10 of us. So we went on retreats together. We go to dinner with The MSPD (ph) director. And so we're a very tight group. And all of my have classmates are very polite and they're very good people.

COOPER: Well, that's good to hear. What courses are you taking this summer?

YANO: So right now we're taking anatomy and histology.

COOPER: I could pretend I know what histology is, but I think I would trip myself up.

YANO: Histology is studying cells and tissues on a microscopic level.

COOPER: OK .

Now I also understand -- is it true that you've been dissecting human cadavers this summer?

YANO: Yes, we have.

COOPER: What is that like?

YANO: In groups of -- at first, I think it was a strange experience for all of us. But we have gotten accustomed to it. And we're almost having fun every day. And I think we are.

COOPER: Well, that's great. I mean, you're such a remarkable young man and very poised, and I appreciate you joining us. And good luck to you. I know -- I guess -- I mean, I guess there was some concern about your ability to sort of deal with patients when you graduate medical school. But because you're going for the Ph.D., you're actually going to be about 19 or 20 when you're actually interacting with patients. Is that right? Do you have any worries about it?

YANO: Yes. No, and people have been telling me, joking with me, at thing me grow a beard and a mustache as soon as you can to look older.

COOPER: Well, I think you got a ways to go before you're able to grow a mustache or a beard. I can't even grow a mustache or a beard at this point and I'm 36.

But Sho, it's great to meet. Good luck to you. And I hope things go well for you.

YANO: OK. Thanks.

COOPER: All right.

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