Echo Secondary School junior Ameta Barzee said she first started thinking about pursuing a career in the medical field about a year ago.
Before, she said she wanted to become a teacher. It wasnt until teachers at her school asked if she had ever considered pursuing a medical degree she decided to research becoming a physician.
Last year, she decided to start filling out applications and surveys for scholarships to pursue an education in the medical field. As a result, in May of last year, she received a package in the mail telling her she was selected for the Congress of Future Medical Leaders in Washington D.C.
After discussing the idea with her family, Barzee decided she wanted to attend. She did further research on the topic of medical careers, which got her even more excited about potentially becoming a doctor.
I wanted to be a pediatrician, but this has really opened my eyes, she said.
Barzee will be attending a three-day conference from Feb. 14 through Feb. 16 for high school honors students interested in pursuing a career in the medical field.
In order to attend, she said she has had to maintain at least a 3.5 GPA and get her application approved by her parents and teachers.
Barzee said at the conference, she will hear from a variety of highly regarded medical scholars, including Nobel prize winners, young people who have invented breakthrough techniques in cancer detection and more.
She will also hear from the recipient of one of the worlds first full face transplants, deans of prestigious medical schools and several well-known motivational speakers.
Barzee said she will also have the chance to observe surgical procedures and meet many other students who are interested in pursuing a career in medicine.
I am excited, she said. I am looking forward to meeting lots of new people, but mostly I am just excited about being there.
While attending the congress, Barzee will also get to compete for three academic scholarships: a full tuition-only scholarship to attend medical school or two $10,000 medical school scholarships.
She said she also hopes the experience will pave the way for other scholarships and opportunities.
Next year as a senior at Echo, Barzee said she hopes to get some type of an internship at Good Shepherd Medical Center to gain further medical experience.
Upon graduation, she said she plans on attending a community college to help cover some of the costs of college and then pursue a pre-med degree at Oregon State University.
She said both of her parents are very supportive of her choice to pursue a career in medicine.
As for the work it takes to obtain a medical degree, Barzee said she is not at all scared.
I really like school, she said. I used to be a scared about that but not anymore.
Barzee said her immediate family will be taking the trip to Washington D.C. as well, and the experience will include some sight-seeing.
She said they will leave two days early to get settled and travel around Washington D.C. She said visit New York City.
Ive never been to either city, she said. I think the farthest east I have been is Utah to see some family.