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St. Anne’s School student gets an in-depth look at the medical field during her summer break

  • St. Anne's School senior Jessica Capron practices suturing during a 10-day National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine in Atlanta. COURTESY JESSICA CAPRON

Published: Sep 11, 2013

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How did Jessica Capron spend her summer? Well, it was quite unlike the summer vacations of many of her peers — she held a human brain in her hands, and viewed a live knee surgery. She heard the doctor using the saw to cut through bones, and it made her blood crawl, but nevertheless, the 15-year-old St. Anne’s School senior still has aspirations of a career in the medical field.

Jessica’s decision to study medicine upon graduation from high school was solidified over the summer after her participation in the 10-day National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine (NYLF/MED) in Atlanta. But she said she would be lying if she did not own up to being grossed out as she watched the live knee surgery during which the surgeon spoke to the participants about what he was doing and why he was doing what he did. And allowed them to ask questions of him.

“Even though you see pictures, they don’t compare to the real thing,” said Jessica. “But afterwards, I was able to appreciate being able to view the surgery. It was an amazing experience after all when I think back on it,” she said.

Jessica was the lone Bahamian to participate in the Atlanta NYLF/MED session — sessions were held in 12 cities across the United States. She joined other high school students who demonstrated academic excellence, leadership potential and an interest in a career in medicine.

The St. Anne’s School senior who is serving as prefect in her final year said she got an in-depth view of the profession from taking the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), to how to apply to medical schools, and what to look for in deciding which medical school she wants to attend, to hearing from a number of medical professionals in various jobs in the field. She also learned about medical ethics and whether it was right or wrong to do certain things.

“I had an amazing experience,” said Jessica. “I always wanted to do something in the medical field, and wanted to be an OBGYN, but when I went to this forum I was able to see various aspects of the medical field. It exposed me to other specialties of medicine,” she said.

The NYLF/MED creates a virtual classroom with hospitals, clinical facilities and healthcare professionals. By shadowing key personnel, Jessica had the opportunity to gain a behind-the-scenes perspective on a career in medicine.

The honor roll student who also participates in a number of sporting activities said her summer experience has allowed her to be more confident as she commenced her final year high school.

“To be honest, before I went there [NYLF/MED] I talked to people, but I think I was in my own shell, but since then I think I’ve grown more confident. I speak more to persons and try to interact more than I used to. I have seen a change in myself. I think it has made me more confident in the things that I can be and to the fact that anything I put my mind to and try to pursue, I can do it,” said the daughter of Melvin and Judy Capron.

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