Author Archives: Thomas Culp

Message For Scholars From Brittany Wenger, Age 18, Grand Prize Winner Of The 2012 Google Science Search

I am so excited to be one of the speakers at the Congress of Future Medical Leaders, because, as cliché as it sounds, we are the future,

Everybody who’s sitting in that room has the potential to become a huge person in the medical field who’s really making the breakthroughs that can save lives.

To me, it’s exciting that this Congress is bringing us all together so that we can make those connections and truly get to meet some of the people that are going to be our colleagues for the rest of our lives.

I think medicine is such an exciting field, because it’s truly a field where you can make a difference. You can save lives, and you can engineer technologies and create treatments that are going to make the world better for all of us to live in.

Right now, especially, I think medicine is on the verge of one of the most exciting decades it’s ever going to have. You see, we live in this information age, and now, more than ever before, we as future researchers, as future doctors are going to be able to search and find whatever we want, so we can truly merge multiple disciplines and come up with innovative solutions to some of the field’s most pressing problems.

In addition, the world is connected like never before. So in terms of research, that means we can get results, we can lean about patients that are cross-continental, and that’s truly going to open the field to so many new discoveries.

I can’t wait to be able to come talk to you guys and meet you in person. My particular talk is going to be focused on passion, inspiration and perseverance, and how, if we come together as a community, we have the power to make some of the most exciting breakthroughs and to truly work together to create an exciting future for all of us to live in. I believe that through hard work, we could be the generation that finally finds the cures to cancers.

I can’t wait to meet you. I’m really looking forward to February.

By then, I will be a Duke freshman, and I’m going to be on the pre-medical track. So this especially is close to my heart because I’m a future medical leader as well. Anyways, I’ll see you soon.


Tips from The National Academy of Physicians: STEM Courses Are Important for High-Achieving High School Students

National Academy of PhysiciansThe National Academy of Physicians provides guidance for high-achieving students and tries to increase these students’ exposure to clinical science and other medical careers. High school students need to do well in math, science, engineering, and technology courses in order to be successful in a health science curriculum. It is important to understand what courses are included and why they are important.

What are STEM Courses?

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math and can be used to define individual courses, a sequence of courses, or a specific integrated selection of classes. Science is the study of the natural world and laws of nature in courses like biology, chemistry, and physics. Technology covers the entire system of organizations, devices, systems, and people associated with creating and operating technologies. Engineering covers the design, development, and creation of products. Mathematics focuses on patterns and relationships between numbers, quantities, and shapes.

Taken together, these classes can improve critical thinking, understanding of the human body and the world around us, and other scientific concepts that may come in handy in medical careers.

Reasons for STEM Curriculum

There are several reasons why high school students should take courses in the STEM curriculum. This course of study is challenging and offers different pathways to the various science, medical, research, technology, and engineering careers that are available. The STEM courses also allow the students to get exposure to the opportunities that they may not have known about before. STEM curriculum also helps students get into college.

By taking these classes in high school, you won’t have to take extra classes – at a cost – at college to fulfill your admissions requirements. If you take advanced STEM courses, you may be able to get college credits which can save you money as well.

STEM Academies

To increase the numbers of students entering the scientific arenas, different organizations have created STEM academies or schools. These STEM schools prep high school students for higher level math and science classes; to truly be a STEM school, the school has to offer more science and math courses than your typical high school.

Businesses should be partners with the school – acting as mentors and providing other resources. Students in STEM schools should also regularly utilize computers and lab equipment. These schools can play an important role in the development of future scientists, doctors, and engineers.

To learn more about STEM courses, visit us at or check out our Facebook page

Tips from the National Academy of Physicians: Getting High School Students Ready for a Health Career

National Academy of PhysiciansIt is never too early to prepare yourself for a career in the health or medical sciences. Organizations like the National Academy of Physicians can help high-achieving high school students get ready for these careers by offering advice, tips, and mentoring.

To enter most medical science careers, high school students need to get into a good college – either a community college or four-year college program. There are some steps you can take to make sure you are ready to enter college as you work towards a science career.

Take Math, Science, and English Classes Every Year

While your state laws and high school requirements may only require one year of math or science, this amount of limited exposure will make it difficult for you when you apply for college. To prepare for a health science track, you should consider taking four years of math, four years of science, and four years of English. Besides increasing your chances of getting into the school or program of your choice, taking science classes also gets you ready for critical thinking which is very important for medical science careers.

English courses help with reading comprehension, communication, and critical thinking as well. If computer courses are available at your high school, you should consider including those in your course load too.

Remember that This is a Competition

Remember that when you apply for admission to college or other medical program, you are in competition with other students for these spots. You have to stand out. One way to do that is to take college prep math and science classes. You can also participate in a summer medical internship for high school students or work in a lab while in high school.

You want to show that you can handle complex coursework but you also want to be ready to understand the science and math concepts that you might encounter – no matter what your career interests are.

Prepare Ahead of Time

While it may seem like kicking back and enjoying your time in high school is a great idea, there really is no good time to ease up on your course work when you are interested in a health career. If you don’t take the hard math and science courses in high school, it is possible that you will have to take remedial classes to make them up. Medical science careers are demanding – the preparation can be equally tough as well.

High achieving high school students should strive to take as many science, math, and English classes as they can to get ready for college and a science career. To learn more about getting ready for a medical science career, visit us at or check out our Facebook page

National Academy of Physicians: Increasing the Number of Minorities in Health Care

National Academy of PhysiciansWhile it has been a challenge to get high-achieving students to consider medical and other scientific careers, it has been even more difficult to direct capable minority students into those fields as well. The National Academy of Physicians works to encourage high school students to enter the medical sciences; however, improving these numbers among minorities requires consideration of the circumstances that many students may face.

Acknowledging these issues may go a long way in getting more minorities to consider these types of careers.

Managing Science Participation in School

Many minority students may excel at basic sciences, but just taking very basic science is not enough to prepare or expose the student to the full possibilities of science. Taking one or two science or math courses will not be sufficient; however, many inner city schools do not have the resources to provide more advanced science courses. These types of courses are important in the pathway to science careers.

It is necessary to encourage minority students to explore the available science courses at their schools and try to establish ways to improve the science, math, and technology offerings at schools that may have only minimal choices.

Exposure to Variety of Medical Options

It is especially vital to this population to increase exposure to the wide variety of science careers – from medicine to biotech to physical and speech therapy. These high school students should be encouraged to participate in summer medical internships, clerkships in medical and research labs, and clinical clerkships.

This exposure plays a dual role. First, these opportunities introduce the students to all of the different job possibilities; many students may only be aware of physicians and nurses as medical science career options and not know that there are other things they could do. Secondly, this exposure can encourage the students to continue on their scientific path and actively seek out more science and math courses – both inside and outside their high schools.

Introduction to Mentors and Other Role Models

Since the pathway to most medical careers requires hard work, sacrifice, and dedication, family support plays an important role in getting students through. In some situations, family support may be lacking. It may be due to structural issues, a need for more immediate money-earning careers, or a lack of exposure for the parents about the possibilities for scientific careers. Many minority students may have limited role models who have attended college or medical school which does play a role in student aspirations.

Parental influence also makes a difference in what types of careers students strive for. Finding mentors – both clinical and lab research — who can work with both the students and the parents may improve this situation.

To learn more about ways to interest high school students in medical science careers, visit us at or check out our Facebook page

Tips from the National Academy of Physicians: Create Your Own Internship

National Academy of PhysiciansHigh-achieving high school students who are interested in science need exposure to science-based fields so they will be interested in entering medical careers in the future. The National Academy of Physicians is one association that can help these students gain that experience. Completing a mini-med school program or completing an internship with a physician or at a clinic are two ways that high school students can learn about the possibilities of a medical career.

How do you find these opportunities? It’s easy – if you take some initiative, you might even have to create your own program.

Check with Your School

Talk to your high school guidance counselors about internship opportunities. Many organizations send out information to high schools about summer programs and other types of science positions; the high school counselors then pass on the information to students that they know are interested in the subject matter or to students that they think might be interested if they took a look.

These programs can be summer programs, week-long residency opportunities, or even internships in laboratories. The options are vast, but the counselor has to know you are interested.

Search for Internships

You can also search online – just Google “internships.” Websites like or may have different listings of what may be available. Many colleges, medical schools, and technology companies have internship opportunities that you can find online.

On the other hand, you can also call (or visit) local science and medical organizations to get information about your options. You can look on the website of the organization to find the number for the employment or internship office and give them a call. Be polite and clear about what you are looking for; most people want to help and will direct you to the right place.

You Don’t Get In – Now What?

To get into a summer internship for high school students, you typically will have to complete an application and possibly an interview. There is competition for these spots so it is possible that you may not get admitted. While being overlooked may be disappointing, it does not mean that you cannot still get useful experience. You can create your own opportunity. Ask your own physician about shadowing opportunities; even if he or she is not available, your doctor often knows other doctors who might be. You can also ask a manager or the employment office at a company that you might be interested in observing about creating a position for you. Since this internship would be unpaid, these companies may be interested in bringing you in.

Getting an opportunity to observe in a clinic or in an office while in high school would likely convince a number of students that medicine or other scientific fields would be good career options. To learn more about getting a medical internship, visit us at or check out our Facebook page

The National Academy of Physicians Can Help Develop Medical Leaders

bigstock-Young-nurse-with-stethoscope-a-10532729While 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.

To learn more about becoming a medical leader, visit us at or check out our Facebook page

National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) Recognizes The 2014 Congress of Future Medical Leaders as Approved Contest and Activity


NOTE:  The full NASSP National Advisory List of Approved Contests and Activities can be found here:  The Congress of Future Medical Leaders is listed on page 36.

We are honored and thrilled to announce today that the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) has approved  the Congress of Future Medical Leaders for placement on the NASSP National Advisory List of Contests and Activities for 2014-2015.

The National Association of Secondary School Principals is the public representative of middle level and high school principals, assistant principals, and aspiring school leaders from across the United States and more than 45 countries around the world. The association currently serves more than 27,000 members.

NASSP also promotes the intellectual growth, academic achievement, character and leadership development, and physical well-being of youth. NASSP has founded and administers the following student leadership programs:

One of Nations Largest Medical Organizations Becomes Official Supporter of The National Academy

The National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists is proud to announce that The American Academy of Family Physicians has offered its official support for our mission and goals.

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) is the national association of family doctors. It is one of the largest national medical organizations, with more than 105,900 members in 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam, as well as internationally.

The AAFP was founded in 1947 to promote and maintain high quality standards for family doctors who are providing continuing comprehensive health care to the public. Other major purposes of the AAFP include:

  • To provide responsible advocacy for and education of patients and the public in all health-related matters;
  • To preserve and promote quality cost-effective health care;
  • To promote the science and art of family medicine and to ensure an optimal supply of well-trained family physicians;
  • To promote and maintain high standards among physicians who practice family medicine;
  • To preserve the right of family physicians to engage in medical and surgical procedures for which they are qualified by training and experience;
  • To provide advocacy, representation, and leadership for the specialty of family medicine.