DC Medical Conference Brings New Opportunities to Conant Junior

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    Shreenath Patel at the Congress of Future Medical Leaders
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Conant junior Shreenath Patel was invited to attend a series of seminars in Washington, DC that explored careers in the medical field. Patel was one of eight thousand high school students from across the nation selected to attend the lectures, which included speeches from numerous doctors, physicists, and scientists whose contributions to modern medicine have proved invaluable to the treatment of many people.

The event, entitled Congress of Future Medical Leaders, took place over a three day period from November 14 to November 16, with day-long conferences and meet-and-greets with esteemed physicians taking place on each day. Speakers talked about their own careers in medicine and how the students could better their chances of getting jobs in the field. Patel stated that one of the highlights of the conference took place on the second day, when she and the other students watched a live laparoscopic (minimally-invasive) surgery being broadcast from a Chicago hospital to the US Armory, where the lectures took place.

Speakers at the event included all three winners of the annual Google Science Fair: Brittany Wenger, Shree Bose and Eric Chen, the latter two who attend Harvard University and the former Duke University. Bose won the Fair in 2011 by discovering a way to counteract the resistance of ovarian cancer cells to a certain drug; Wenger followed up by creating a more accurate way to diagnose breast cancer. Chen, two years younger than the other Fair winners at 18, researched new types of drugs that would be able to fight dangerous strains of influenza.

“It was amazing seeing teenagers who have their own awards utilize the endless potential that our generation has to make breakthroughs in the medical field,” Patel said.

The recipients of the 1993 and 1998 Nobel Prizes in Physiology and Medicine, Sir Richard Roberts and Dr. Ferid Murad, respectively, also spoke at the conference. Other speakers included acting US Surgeon General Boris Lushniak, Carmen Blandin Tarleton, who received one of the world’s first full face transplants after being assaulted by her estranged husband with a baseball bat in 2007, and Michael Barratt, a NASA astronaut and physicist, along with over a dozen other medical pioneers. A documentary, Code Black, detailing the busiest emergency department in the nation at Los Angeles County Hospital, was shown as well.

“This conference changed my life in the sense where the renowned speakers inspired me to go after my dreams head strong,” Patel said.

“Everyone who was invited to speak at the congress had a unique story to tell about what they had to go through to be where they are today, and they really proved that believing in yourself is essential for success.”

Patel said that the students were chosen to attend the event based on either teacher recommendation, high GPA or PSAT scores, with she herself chosen due to her 4.0 GPA. Students also had to express an interest in medicine, math, and science. Patel said that two careers she is considering include being an obstetrician (a pregnancy and childbirth specialist) or an emergency room doctor.

Patel said that unfortunately she was not able to visit any of the monuments that the city of Washington, DC has to offer, but she was proud to have represented our school at such an incredible event.

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