Richmond, Va.
Thursday, July 24, 2014

High school students use summer to investigate medical careers

Thursday, July 13, 2000

RICHMOND, Va. – For some Virginia high school students, summer vacation will mean an opportunity to learn at one of the country’s largest medical centers. Partnered with physicians and researchers, they’ll be introduced to the realities of a career in medicine.

The 30 students chosen to participate in the 12th annual Virginia Governor's School for Medicine were selected from among nearly 150 applicants (see attached for participating students). For six weeks, they will live on Virginia Commonwealth University's Medical College of Virginia Campus and spend their days with mentors — practicing physicians or medical researchers — in fields of their choice.

Students paired with physicians will be based in VCU’s MCV Hospitals, learning about patient care and discussing treatment plans with health-care providers. Those studying a research specialty will actively participate in laboratory research and work with investigators to analyze findings.

In addition to conducting research projects, all students will rotate through other specialties that interest them and volunteer in the hospital. They also will get a taste of college and city living.

"This is an extraordinary opportunity for these students," said Kirk Blackard, director of the Virginia Governor's School for Medicine. "During the summer, they have the chance to observe surgery, childbirth and emergency medicine — experiences that many medical school students don't have until their third year. We’ll see students assess for themselves what a career in medicine looks like on a day-to-day basis and decide if this is a course they wish to pursue."

Dozens of past participants have gone on to pre-med programs and medical schools at a number of universities including VCU. Of the past participants who applied since the program’s inception in 1996, about 70 percent were accepted. More than 50 percent matriculated at VCU’s School of Medicine.

The Governor's School for Medicine is a cooperative project of the Virginia Department of Education's Office of Programs for the Gifted and VCU's School of Medicine. The program was the first of its kind in the country.

Student

High School/City or County

Specialty

Nafis Ahmed

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax

Pharmacology & Toxicology

Kaveh Ardalan

Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach

Psychiatry

Cassandra Bradby

Governor’s School for Government & International Studies in Richmond

Family Practice

Philip Brinkman

J.E.B. Stuart High School in Fairfax

Surgery

Evan Bruhn

West Point High School in West Point

Pathology

Jonathan Campbell-Morgan

Manchester High School in Chesterfield

Neurology

Denise Canonizado

Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach

Nephrology

John Catilo

T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria

Cardiology

Carey Compton

William Monroe High School in Greene

Surgery & Oncology

Benjamin Cox

Massaponax High School in Spotsylvania

Neurology

Jason Davenport

Virginia High School in Bristol

Internal Medicine

Marina Dickens

Rockbridge County High School in Lexington

Surgery

Christienna Fryar

Tallwood High School in Virginia Beach

Psychiatry

Alison Game

Menchville High School in Newport News

Gastroenterology & Microbiology & Immunology

Lauren Good

Giles High School in Pearisburg

Obstetrics & Gynecology

Ubaid Haq

Martinsville High School in Martinsville

Surgery

Joshua Hou

Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach

Opthalmology

Victor Hwang

Oakton High School in Vienna

Pharmacology & Toxicology

John Knapp

Maury High School in Norfolk

Radiation Oncology

Nneka Madu

Gar-Field High School in Prince William

Pediatrics

AnhThu Nguyen

Powhatan High School in Powhatan

Pathology

Erica Palin

Lancaster High School in Lancaster

Anesthesiology

Bina Patel

Fieldale-Collinsville High School in Henry

Anesthesiology

Amy Perlman

George Mason High School in Falls Church

Internal Medicine & Hematology & Oncology

Thao-Ly Phan

Governor’s School for Government & International Studies in Richmond

Pediatrics

Rebecca Previs

King William High School in King William

Neurosurgery

Vivek Ramakrishnan

Powell Valley High School in Big Stone Gap

Infectious Disease

Michael Semanik

The Covenant School in Charlottesville

Microbiology & Immunology

Michelle Smith

Western Branch High School in Chesapeake

Trauma Surgery & Burn Unit

Sarah Statzer

John S. Battle High School in Bristol

Infectious Disease


About VCU and VCU Medical Center

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 223 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-eight of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University comprise VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see www.vcu.edu.