Summer medical forum furthers Cathedral students’ education plans

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 30, 2000

A summer trip to Chicago cemented two Cathedral High School seniors’ dreams of a medical career.

Alisha McArthur and Ashley Logan, both 17, were chosen to attend the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine held in Chicago in July.

During the 11-day conference, McArthur and Logan were two of more than 300 high schoolers and entering college freshmen who heard lectures from nationally-renowned physicians, attended classes, shadowed practicing doctors and visited area hospitals.

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The experience not only changed the young women’s’ minds about entering the medical field, &uot;it made up our minds,&uot; McArthur said.

An aspiring pediatrician, McArthur said she has wanted to be a doctor &uot;since I was a little girl.&uot; Her father, Dr. Willie McArthur, practices family medicine.

Logan plans to study psychiatry, and both said their motivation lies in helping people.

&uot;That’s what they stressed too (at the forum),&uot; Logan said. &uot;You can’t be a doctor unless you want to help people.&uot;

One of the most memorable moments from the forum was the opportunity to practice dissection on human cadavers.

&uot;At first it scared me,&uot; McArthur said, as Logan nodded in agreement.

Besides a trip to the morgue, the McArthur said she valued the opportunity to follow doctors as they made hospital rounds.

Logan said her defining moment came while sitting in on a discussion session where mental health patients talked about their struggles and achievements.

Even tasks as simple as catching the bus can be a struggle for someone suffering from mental disease.

&uot;I felt so proud of them for really trying,&uot; Logan said.

The HIV/AIDs epidemic was of this year’s forum topics, and both young women said they learned a lot from talking face-to-face with victims of the disease.

&uot;You learn that AIDs is real and these people are real,&uot; Logan said.

Living in Fayette, McArthur said she has never had to deal with HIV and AIDs.

&uot;I know it scares a lot of people,&uot; she said.

With the school year just beginning, McArthur and Logan said they are still applying for college acceptance and academic scholarships.

As they move on, both say they have kept in touch with fellow forum students over the Internet and plan to keep up with each other’s successes.