Local teen will examine field

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 1, 2000

of medicine during summer


Features Editor

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When the final school bell rings each year, many students set their sights on a summer in the sun and far away from the books.

However, some students just can’t seem to get enough of that "stuff" called education.

Lydia Yancey, a rising senior at Charles Henderson High School, is one who will step right out of one school into another and from one learning experience to another.

Lydia will leave Troy today for the University of Alabama where she will participate in a five-week Rural Health Scholars Program.

She finds excitement in being involved in such an ambitious program of study which will include chemistry and creative writing. She is even more excited that she will receive college credit for successfully completing the program of study.

With those hours of college credit and the ones she earns through the Global Studies Program, Lydia will have 31 hours of college credit, giving her a head start when she enters college in the fall of 2002.

But when those five weeks of study are completed, Lydia move right into another challenging and exciting "era of summer."

She was recently accepted to attend the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine (NYLF/MED), which will take place in Atlanta from July 15 to July 24.

NYLF/MED is a career development program for high school students who demonstrate academic excellence, leadership potential and an interest in medicine.

Yancey will join 350 other high school students from around the county.

The prospect of being a participant in such an outstanding career development program is very exciting for Lydia.

"This will be an opportunity to be introduced to a variety of concepts in public health, medical ethics, research and general practice, including site visits to medical facilities and clinics," Lydia said. "We will be faced with Problem-Based Learning, an educational method familiar to most students in medical school, where they are presented with a set of patient symptoms and must come to a diagnosis and prognosis for the symptoms. This is also an opportunity to see if the medical field is the right choice for me."

However, Lydia has few reservations about the career path she has chosen.

"I’m not sure when I decided that I wanted to go into so field of medicine," she said. "My mother has always been interested in science and I’m sure that had an influence in my decision."

Lydia pinpointed the ninth grade was her time of real commitment to medicine.

"That’s when I decided I really wanted to go into the medical field and that I wanted to be an emergency room doctor."

The popular television show "ER" has prompted many young people to consider the emergency room as an exciting and interesting workplace, but Lydia is not a big "ER" fan.

"The show focuses too much on the personal lives of the doctors, so I would much rather watch Trauma Life ER on the Learning Channel," Lydia said.

And, it was while she was watching that Lydia decided, for sure, "that’s what I want to do."

The trauma of the emergency room is not for the faint-hearted and Lydia is convinced she has the "stuff" to make it.

She spent four days "shadowing" in a Dothan hospital emergency room.

"No, I don’t faint at the sight of blood," she said, laughingly. "But most of the emergencies were little ones – scrapes and cuts. We did have a dog bite and one real trauma. I think I handled it well and right now, I’m sure ER is the place where I belong

… but."

Although Lydia is almost 100 percent sure about her career in the medical field, she is leaving her options open.

"In Atlanta I’ll be exposed to other areas of medicine and, who knows? There’s always the possibility that I might find something that interests me more," she said.

But for this summer, Lydia is going to take advantage of the opportunities before her and let them lead her where they may.