DHS student will attend prestigious medical forum

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 22, 2008

DEMOPOLIS &8212; LeAnn Andrews, a junior at Demopolis High School, has been interested in the field of medicine for several years. But this summer, Andrews will have an opportunity to get a first-hand look at her chosen career path when she attends the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine in Atlanta.

After being chosen from students all over the nation, Andrews will attend the 10-day conference where she will work with medical professionals and learn about issues such as bioethics, clinical decision-making and public health.

Andrews said she is really excited about the opportunity, and has received support from local businesses to help pay for the $2,470 tuition. Although the cost to attend is considerate, Andrews said the experience will be worth it.

Andrews said she was initially interested in nursing, but the more she researched the medical field, she knew she wanted to become a doctor. After doing more research, Andrews decided she wants to become a pediatric oncologist, a physician who deals with childhood cancer.

One particular area she hopes to explore is pediatric hematology, or the study of blood disorders in children.

Already she has gained some experience by participating in the Medical Explorers class, where she and some of her classmates shadow medical professionals at Bryan W. Whitfield Hospital.

For her next steps, Andrews said she is looking forward to going to college. She and her family will visit University of South Alabama next week, a potential choice for her to go to school.

After medical school, Andrews said she would love to work at Children&8217;s Hospital in Houston, Texas and then start her own practice one day.

She said he parents, Duane and Loraine Andrews, are very supportive of her high goals.