Rising junior Kamron Soldozy spent three days serving as a delegate to the Congress of Future Medical Leaders, from June 25 to June 27. The Congress is a program for high school students who have GPAs of 3.5 or above and want to become physicians or go into the field of medical science, and it is an honors-only program.
“I received an invitation in the mail and I immediately noticed it was not just a simple honor society or honors program,” Soldozy said. “I was most impressed when I saw the list of speakers for the event: it was comprised of Nobel Prize winners and the greatest minds of our generation. These were people who had truly achieved something great with their lives or were on the way to doing so, and that’s what really made me want to attend.”
Students are nominated to be delegates to the Congress by teachers, counselors and principals who are on the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists’ Honorary Board of Educators. Soldozy was nominated by Dr. Robert Darling, the medical director of the Academy, based on three criteria set by the Academy: academic excellence, leadership potential and commitment to entering the medical field as physicians or medical scientists.
“I felt honored and beyond proud to be a delegate representing NOVA. On top of that, getting to meet other bright students with a passion in medicine from around the US was a remarkable experience. Since I attend TJ, one of the best schools in the nation, it’s easy to have the mindset that I already know what it’s like to interact and be with really smart kids. Not only did I meet exceptional students from everywhere in the US, but I also saw kids who may not have been the smartest in terms of SAT Scores and standardized testing, but were insanely passionate and knowledgeable about medicine, which was very inspiring. Additionally, it felt great to represent not only NOVA but also TJ, a well-known school,” Soldozy said.
The event included several activities, including presentations from Nobel laureates and National Medal of Science winners on leading medical research, advice from deans of Ivy League and top medical schools about what to expect on what to expect in medical school and stories told by patients considered living medical miracles.
“There are two events in particular that stood out to me the most. One was the live surgery, streamed from here in Alexandria,” Soldozy said. “Dr. Engh from the Anderson Orthopaedic Clinic performed a hip replacement surgery and commented over the entire procedure. It was truly an amazing experience, and Dr. Engh even let me come in and shadow his clinic for a day after the Congress, which really solidified my interest in medicine and offered me a practical experience. On the other hand, I had the chance to hear from Dr. Michael S. Brown, who performed groundbreaking research on the effects of cholesterol on the body and the basic functionalities of cholesterol many years ago. I was fascinated by his talk because it applied directly to my IBET research.”
The Congress aims to honor, inspire, motivate and direct top students in the country and help them stay true to their dreams.
“The Congress was an exhausting and amazingly enlightening experience that I would definitely recommend to others. I came back motivated and more confident in myself and my goals than ever before, and the Congress helped me realize what I want to do and how to do it. I’ve become more involved in volunteering, research, and medical opportunities that I wasn’t aware of before,” Soldozy said.
After the Congress, students are entered into the Academy’s mentoring program, which provides students with a path, a plan and resources to help them reach their goals.