By Ellie Wheeler and Sarah Carlsen
Being nominated for something that can change your future can be a once in a lifetime opportunity. And it was for freshman Gabrielle Tanksley, who was anonymously nominated to attend the Congress of Future Physicians and Medical Leaders, which is a conference held in Washington, D.C during the first weekend of February Break. Tanksley is very interested in having a career in the medical field and was elated when she heard of this amazing opportunity. She soon nominated the Addo sisters, freshman Adobea and sophomore Afua, because she knew that they were also interested in the medical field. Adobea knew that Tanksley was going to nominate her for the event, but she was still very excited to be given the opportunity.
The Congress is intended to honor, motivate and direct the top students in the country to follow their dreams, and Tanksley says that “the whole experience didn't disappoint.” When Tanksley and her family arrived in Washington D.C. on Friday, Feb. 14, with the Addo sisters, everyone got right to business. Tanksley and the Addo sisters went directly to the conference, which was held at the D.C. Armory, to start listening to the lectures that would be most of the weekend. The lectures were given by Nobel Prize winners, leaders in the medical field and highly recognized college professors and talked anywhere from 30 minutes to almost two hours. On Saturday, they woke up at 10 a.m. and went directly to hear more speakers. At 11 a.m. they witnessed a live surgery to remove a tumor from a patient’s uterus that was performed using the latest technology. They saw the doctor control a robot arm to do what he would have normally done during the procedure. This arm does the work that the doctor would be doing. Tanksley says that the surgery was “extraordinary; it was cool how the doctor was able to answer our questions and perform the surgery at the same time.” Thousands of attendees witnessed only an hour of the procedure, but were later informed that it was a success.
At noon they listened to more speakers, then had 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch. “The food was so amazing! But it was pretty expensive,” both Tanksley and Adobea agreed. After lunch they listened to more speakers until 6 p.m. when they broke for dinner. On Sunday, the final day of the conference, everyone who attended took the Hippocratic Oath. By taking the Oath, all physicians and doctors swear that they will practice medicine honestly. After all speakers concluded, a party was held for all the attendees as a fun way to wrap up the conference.
“This opportunity will help open doors to my future,” says Tanksley. The conference is for students with a high GPA. The conference touched on the various medical fields, and gave insight into that ways students could help themselves focus for school,studying and life in general. Tanksley was pleased that a speaker talked about biomedical engineering, which is making prosthetics and organs for patients who have lost them, because this is the field that she is interested in pursuing a career in.
Tanksley had the opportunity to nominate other students to attend the conference. Adobea shared that her overall experience was fun. “Most of the speakers were really good, but some were a little boring,” said Adobea. She had debated working in the field of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Obstetrics are the doctors that deliver babies and Gynaecologists are doctors specialized with the female reproductive system.“The conference gave me more information about different fields and skills,” said Adobea.
Tanksley hopes to attend the November, along with friend Lauren Goodrum,who also used to attend J-D, conference as well to further extend her knowledge and understanding of the medical fields. For more information go to http://www.futuredocs.com