CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A group of Charlottesville high schoolers is teaming up with doctors and medical students at the University of Virginia for a chance to experience the medical field firsthand.

This new, year-long program allows the kids to get a taste of all the different careers that are available to them in the field.

This is the first year for the Discover Medicine program, but organizers expect it to leave a lasting impact on the students and the world of medicine right here in the commonwealth.

"We really hope that it will help them help ignite an interest in pursuing a career in the medical field,” Sarah Groth, the assistant principal at Charlottesville High School, said.

A group of Charlottesville High School (CHS) students is picking up some real-world experience in the healthcare field.

“We try to get them interactive mentors, medical student mentors, or faculty mentors as well,” Femi Suraju, who works at UVA, said. “We think building that relationship is going to be helpful for their career down the line."

Once a month, students in the Discover Medicine Program get to shadow physicians at UVA Medical Center in order to experience a day in the life of a medical professional.

“Since I've been interested in going into medicine, I thought I would give it a try,” Dean Tennant, a CHS student, said.

Students like Tennant say the program allows them to learn way more than they would by simply sitting in a classroom.

“It’s really fascinating - the information we're learning - and so that I'm a little bit more ready for medical school whenever that comes around,” Tennant said.

And this program is not just about helping high school students.

Organizers say the program also helps bring the University of Virginia and Charlottesville communities together.

“In terms of collaborating with UVA and the city schools, it’s just bringing a really rich experience to our students that they may not have otherwise gotten in the community where they live," Groth said.

“At the heart of it, we want more underrepresented minorities in medicine,” Suraju said. “That’s at the heart of everything. We also want them to know that medicine is a personable profession, it’s a profession where you can combine your outside interests as well."

Right now, there are 10 Charlottesville High School students taking part in this program. However, organizers hope to expand it so that more and more kids can benefit from the unique experience in the future.