PSHS student attends Congress of Future Medical Leaders

Joseph Barton from Princeton recently attended the Congress of Future Medical Leaders in Boston, Mass., where he had a change of perspective about his career. 

Barton is a junior at Princeton Senior High School. “Before I attended the Congress I was wanting to get more into the research part of medicine because I thought I wouldn’t be very good with the public,” Barton said. “Now my mind is at ease, and I know that I will be completely comfortable working with people on a daily basis.”

According to a press release, the event is an honors only program for high school students who want to become physicians or go into medical research fields. The purpose of this event 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.

Barton was nominated by Dr. Robert Darling, the Medical Director of the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists, to represent Princeton Senior High School based on Barton’s academic achievement, leadership potential and determination to serve humanity in the field of medicine.  

According to a press release, Barton joined students from across the country to hear Nobel laureates and National Medal of Science winners talk about leading medical research. Barton was given advice from Ivy League and top medical school deans on what to expect in medical school.

Barton said the event lasted two and a half days. “Sunday evening, all day Monday and all day Tuesday,” Barton said. “There were about 3,000 students there from all over the U.S., all of us had ambitions to become something great. We were given advice from multiple prestigious doctors, Nobel Prize winners, and even a few patients who’s lives were changed greatly by advances in medicine. It was a really cool experience not only to hear speeches from some of the smartest people in the world, but to also have the opportunity to collaborate with potential future colleagues and fellow leaders in the same profession I am pursuing.” 

Barton said he learned a lot about the various fields of medicine during the trip. “I was guided towards the field in which I feel I want to go into, sports medicine and neurology,” Barton said. “I feel the most important thing that I learned during the program was that if you find a type of medicine interesting, then study it and make that your career. I heard numerous speakers say they haven’t gone to work a single day in the medical field because their job doesn’t feel like work. That’s how I hope I can feel when I’m working in medicine.”

Barton said Dr. Robert Cantu was his favorite speaker during the event.

“Dr. Cantu is a neurosurgeon who works with concussion patients out of the NFL, NHL and NBA,” Barton said. “They talked about something there called a triple threat. It’s when you put two to three of your favorite things together and make that your job and you can be the best at that job simply because you love those things. So I love sports and also have developed a passion for studying the brain so why not put those two together and make a job out of it.”

National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists Executive Director Richard Rossi said this is a crucial time in America where doctors are needed. “We need more doctors and medical scientists who are even better prepared for a future that is changing exponentially,” Rossi said. “Focused, bright and determined students like Joseph are our future and he deserves all the mentoring and guidance we can give him.”

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