BOUNTIFUL—Woods Cross senior Ben Gregoire loves sitting with the residents of Barton Creek Assisted Living Center, getting to know them and listening to their life stories.
“I love that,” he said. “That’s why I want to go into medicine.”
Gregoire is a CNA at the facility and becoming a doctor is not just a dream – he’s already well on his way. He was recently nominated to be a delegate to the Congress of Future Medical Leaders held in Lowell, Mass. this summer. It’s an honors-only program for high school students who want to become physicians or go into medical research fields.
“There is a delegate from each state,” said Gregoire. “It’s a three-day conference where we’ll hear from Nobel Prize winners, watch live surgeries and hear from youth leaders and medical science professionals. Dr. Mario Capecchi nominated me.” Capecchi is the winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine and the Science Director of the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists.
“I’ve been interested in the medical field ever since I can remember,” Gregoire said. “I’m taking courses that will guide me into the field.”
Not only is he a CNA, but Gregoire is part of HOSA-Future Health Professionals at his school and did an internship at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. “We followed around doctors and nurses to see what it’s like to be in the medical field,” he said. “We also go to junior highs to give a presentation about what we’re doing to get them excited about doing it.”
The National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists was founded on the principal that prospective medical talent should be identified as early as possible to help those students acquire the skills and experience needed to take them to the doorstep of this vital career, according to a release.
“This is a crucial time in America when we need more doctors and medical scientists who are even better prepared for a future that is changing exponentially,” Executive Director, National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists Richard Rossi said in the statement. “Focused, bright and determined students like Benjamin Gregoire are our future and he deserves all the mentoring and guidance we can give him.”
After high school, Gregoire plans to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “When I get back I want to go to SUU (Southern Utah University) in Cedar City because they have a good pre-med program,” he said. “They tutor you for the MCAT and guide you through the interview process for medical school applications. Right now I’m looking at emergency medicine but also surgery or family medicine. The thing I enjoy the most is spending time with the patients.”