Given the current state of the economy, no matter the field students are aspiring to enter, every one of them is increasingly competitive. There is a constant need for doctors and medical specialists, but that hasn’t kept the industry from being a competitive environment in any era. Unfortunately, there are brilliant students who don’t have the opportunity to pursue their dreams of entering the medical field because of numerous barriers to entry, not the least of which is the competitiveness of the field.
The lack of resources that some brilliant students must deal with is an issue that organizations such as the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists seek to address. By singling out those exceptional students and providing them with scholarship opportunities, this organization seeks to, if not level the playing field, then at least put a dent in it to give a chance to those who might otherwise not have one.
The students are selected based on academic performance (including a minimum GPA of 3.5), interest in the medical field, and teacher recommendations. They are first honored by the Congress of Future Medical Leaders where they get to view surgery and ask questions of the surgeon, examine state-of-the-art diagnostic tools, and interact with similarly talented students who have gone on to form life-long friendships with fellow honorees. They are then entitled to enter a free program that provides mentorship, resources, and direction and networks to assist them in reaching their dreams.
The scholars that the organization selects get to meet a series of notable Master Speakers. These include Dr. Bruce Beutler – Winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, Dr. Craig Mello – Winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, Dr. Thomas A. Steitz – Winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and Dr. Martin Chalfie – Winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Other speakers include the winner of the 2010 National Medal of Science, Dr. Susan Lindquist, and Dr. Peter Diamandis, Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation. The lucky students will also interact with Ivy League deans such as Dr. Chip Souba, Dean of the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College and Dr. Laurie Glimcher, Dean of Weill-Cornell Medical College.
The assistance a program such as this can offer to aspiring students is immense and can have a tremendous impact on the overwhelming process of applying to medical schools. Any student would be in a better position given the help of this program and those intelligent enough to be given the opportunity are sure to make the most of it.