Sami Wood, a sophomore at Effingham County High School, attended the Congress of Future Medical Leaders in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 14-16.
The Congress is an honors-only program for high school students who want to become physicians or go into medical research fields. The event’s purpose is to honor, inspire, motivate and direct the top students in the country who aspire to be physicians or medical scientists, to stay true to their dream and, after the event, to provide a path, plan and resources to help them reach their goal.
Wood was nominated by Dr. Connie Mariano, the medical director of the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists, to represent Effingham County High School based on her academic achievement, leadership potential and determination to serve humanity in the field of medicine.
During the three-day Congress, Wood joined students from across the country and heard Nobel Laureates and National Medal of Science winners talk about leading medical research; received advice from Ivy League and top medical school deans on what is to be expected in medical school; witnessed stories told by patients who are living medical miracles; was inspired by fellow teen medical science prodigies; and learned about cutting-edge advances and the future in medicine and medical technology.
“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 of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists. “Focused, bright and determined students like Sami Wood are our future and she deserves all the mentoring and guidance we can give her.”
The Academy offers free services and programs to students who want to be physicians or go into medical science. Some of the services and programs the Academy plans to launch in 2014 are online social networks through which future doctors and medical scientists can communicate; opportunities for students to be guided and mentored by physicians and medical students; and communications for parents and students on college acceptance and finances, skills acquisition, internships, career guidance and much more.
The National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists was founded on the belief that it must identify prospective medical talent at the earliest possible age and help those students acquire the necessary experience and skills to take them to the doorstep of this vital career. Based in Washington, D.C., the Academy was chartered as a nonpartisan, taxpaying institution to help address this crisis by working to identify, encourage and mentor students who wish to devote their lives to the service of humanity as physicians, medical scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians.