While there have been an amazing amount of innovations in medicine over the past century, there are still challenges and complications that we as a society still have to deal with and face in the near future.
Medical leadership will be necessary to meet these challenges and the National Academy of Physicians can help prepare high-achieving high school students to become these much needed leaders of the future. High school students that are interested in science are positioned to be those leaders. There are several ways to help get them there.
Emphasizing the Importance of Science Courses
Getting high school students to continue on the path of math and science courses is very important in building medical leaders. Many students may not believe or realize that these subjects are fun and can lead to fulfilling careers and jobs in the future. Students do tend to take courses that they enjoy, but they will also take classes that they perceive are more important to their futures as well. If the parents also participate in encouraging high school students to take math and science classes, the students will be more likely to continue. We need to emphasize both the fun of these courses and the need for them in the future.
Mentorship or Internship Programs for High School Students
Exposure to medical science – not just medicine but biotechnology and bench research – can also encourage students to become medical leaders. Some students already know that they want to enter these fields and they work towards entering summer internship programs or finding a medical mentor.
However, other students may need more direction. Many local physicians or researchers would welcome an opportunity to mentor a high school student in their clinic or lab but if no one approaches them, the prospect vanishes.
High school counselors often know about internship programs and the information is on the Web. Getting high-achieving students involved in mentorship or internship programs can increase the interest in these fields.
Attending a Meeting
Another way to introduce students to the concept of medical leadership is through attendance at meetings that focus on that. One example is the Congress of Future Medical Leaders. This meeting will introduce and inspire thousands of high-achieving high school students to continue to strive for excellence in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics arenas. Many of the students will have been identified by their teachers or guidance counselors and will be named as Honorees.
These students will get to observe surgeries and talk with the surgeon during the procedure. They will also meet other medical leaders who have made important contributions to the medical field. The meeting will be an aspirational event that will encourage many young people to enter the medical fields.