Medical Congress solidifies career aspirations for Earl Woods Scholars
Joining top students across the United States with interest in pursuing careers as physicians, medical scientists, engineers or technologists, Earl Woods Scholars Kayla Fisher and Jesenia Vargas recently had a unique opportunity to attend the Congress of Future Medical Leaders at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.
The Congress is an honors-only program for high school students who have a minimum 3.5 GPA. Through the program, the Congress honors, inspires, motivates and directs students on their journey to success and helps them stay true to their dreams.
Kayla and Jesenia reflected on their experience and its impact on their professional outlook.
TGR Foundation: How was your experience at the Congress of Future Medical Leaders?
Kayla Fisher: The Congress of Future Medical Leaders was the first conference I’ve ever attended focusing on various branches of sciences and medicine. Stepping off of the plane in Boston I didn’t know what to expect. The Congress featured a list of greatly recognized medical leaders within the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) field as well as multiple Nobel Peace Prize winners who conducted presentations explaining their research and discoveries. I absolutely loved the experience, and I am grateful to have had an opportunity like this.
Jesenia Vargas: Overall, I had a great experience at the conference, and I am glad that I accepted this opportunity. I was able to listen to the stories of many successful medical professionals and learn what they do on a typical day at work.
TGRF: What are your college and career aspirations?
KF: This fall, I will begin my freshman year at The University of Rochester. With hopes of opening my own private practice in the future, I also plan to major in biology and psychology on a pre-med track with a minor in business.
JV: I will be attending Scripps College this fall and am majoring in biology. I would like to specialize in the digestive system to become a gastroenterologist.
TGRF: What were your favorite observations from the sessions you attended?
KF: During one of my favorite workshops at the Congress I got to witness a live knee replacement, performed to get rid of arthritis in the knee through a partial knee replacement. It was so amazing! The way the surgeon cut, replaced bone and sewed up the leg with care left me breath-taken.
JV: Dr. Bohdan Pomahač, a plastic surgeon who led the team that performed the first full-face transplant in the United States, shared a series of before and after photos of some of his patients and a few videos of how his patients’ lives changed. I felt very touched by the difference that he makes in people’s lives and that is what I have always strived to do.
TGRF: How did the conference impact your college and career choices?
KF: This medical conference really helped me solidify my thoughts in becoming a doctor. It also showed me that there are more components and branches within the medical field that I can pursue. I don’t have to just be a surgeon; I can be a greenhouse scientist, a researcher, an autopsy specialist or a doctor who specializes in specific parts of the body. The medical field has a variety of choices and how interesting it was to see that variety come all together throughout the process of those three days.
JV: Attending this conference made me realize that I am for sure going down the right path by choosing medicine as my profession. I have always had my mindset on becoming a gastroenterologist, but thanks to this conference, I was able to learn that restoration surgery also interests me.
As Kayla and Jesenia prepare to begin their freshman year at their respective universities, the Earl Woods Scholar Program team will be there for holistic support on their journey. TGR Foundation is grateful for the support of Dr. Ara Suppiah for making this experience possible for our scholars and joining us in our mission to empower students through education.
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