Organization helps students pursue careers in medicine –
By Patricia Beech –
Summer Jarvis, a former Patient Care Assistant, would often allow her young son Dakota to tag along with her to work.
“He was always interested in how medicine works,” she says.
It came as no surprise to her when one day he announced he wanted to be a doctor.
“I am extremely proud of him,” she says. “He was my sidekick since he was very little, and he was always full of questions about medicine.”
Dakota recently attended the Congress of Future Medical Leaders at the National Academy of Future Physicians in Lowell, Massachusetts.
The Congress is a program for high school honors students who want to become physicians or go into medical research fields. Jarvis, a sophomore at West Union High School, hopes to become an orthopedic surgeon. He plans to study pre-med at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, and earn his medical degree from Ohio State University. He says he wants to open his own practice in Adams County.
Along with more than 4,000 students from across the country, he had the opportunity to hear from Nobel Laureates and National Medal of Science winners, Ivy League and medical school deans, patients with miracle experiences, and fellow teen medical prodigies.
During the three-day event he also had the opportunity to interact with doctors from a variety of medical fields.
“I was very inspired by the experience,” he said. “Especially by Dr. Robert Darling, the Medical Director of the National Academy.”
Jarvis was nominated by Dr. Darling to represent West Union High School based on his academic achievement, leadership potential, and determination to serve humanity in the field of medicine.
He says one of the highlights of his experience was learning about a medical procedure called ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) that uses a machine to take over the work of the lungs and sometimes the heart. It is used for babies, children, and adults and may help support a patient awaiting a heart or lung transplant.
Jarvis called the opportunity “a great learning experience”.
“I was even more inspired to become a doctor,” he said.
Jarvis also exchanged contact information with other students attending the event.
He says he’s always been interested in pursuing a career in medicine.
“My Mom worked in the medial field, and I spent a lot of time with her when she was at work,” he said. “This has always been my dream.”
His drive to be a medical professional is why the Congress exists.
The National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists was founded to help identify prospective medical talent at the earliest possible age and to help those students acquire the necessary experience and skills to move forward with their careers.
This is a crucial time in America when we need more doctors and medical scientists who are even better prepared for a future that is changing exponentially,” said Richard Rossi, Executive Director of the National Academy in a press release. “Focused, bright and determined students like Dakota are our future and he deserves all the mentoring and guidance we can give him.”
The Academy offers free services and programs to students who want to be physicians or medical scientists including: online social networks to facilitate communication between future doctors and scientists; opportunities for students to be guided and mentored by physicians and medical students; and information for parents and students regarding college acceptance and finances, skills acquisition, internships, career guidance and much more.
Jarvis is hoping to participate next summer in the Doctors Abroad project which will require that he travel to either Mexico or Poland for 10 days to work alongside doctors.
He also plans to do job shadowing at the Adams County Regional Medical Center where he will have the opportunity to observe and learn from an orthopedic doctor from Mercy Health Hospital.