What is your name, what school do you go, what grade are you in?
My name is Leslie Bucio, I'm going to be an incoming freshman at Johns Hopkins in the fall. Oh and I also plan on studying neuroscience, I don't know if I have to say that now.
Why did you choose to attend NPHC 2021?
It was actually something last moment but it interested me so much. It was part of this Jump program at my school and they like sent an email out recommending the conference, and I was like ‘I really think that this would be a good opportunity to be able to actually interact with not only students and stuff but also like actual professionals and different healthcare fields and just sort of also get started thinking about what I want like what path I want to go down because there were so many sessions and so much information, so I think that was the main like reasons why I decided to join conference.
What were some questions that you had before attending NPHC that were answered or addressed during the event?
Yeah I think mainly as an incoming freshman obviously and pre-med track, you know, you have a lot of questions about the application process and all of that, so that was like really helpful. The conference is really helpful in answering those questions but also answering things such as how you know, like, for example, different diversity in the fields and stuff and how to improve that like going into those environments where you're just you can actually interact and like be part of, you know, this system and change the way that things are sort of structured now for the better, obviously.
Are there any specific topics or advice from guest speakers that impacted you throughout the school year while continuing your pre-health journey (extracurriculars, application processes, motivational talks?
Yeah there was a lot, actually. I went to the all three days and, like, I felt like every speaker just had something, you know that you can utilize in the future. But I would say, I think like in the first day Dr. Shavonia Wynn I think in her Exploring Competitive Specialities as Underrepresented Students. I really liked how she started off with like you don't need to wake up one day and know what you want to be. Like you have sort of time and with that time you can use that time to explore different paths and not be afraid to go into small specialties where like there's not a lot of people, like not being afraid to be part of that small group. I feel like that's really important because when you enter [the healthcare field] you sort of want to feel supported or have a big support system, but also that part of like exploration and finding yourself, I feel like that really, you know, is going to stick with me, you know not being afraid to try new things and going out of my way to ask people, professors, students about different topics that I normally wouldn't ask, so I really liked that in the first day.
What was your favorite part of NPHC 2021?
My favorite part was just being able to sort of feel like part of a greater whole like you feel part of something greater than oneself right. Because it's like it's a big, even though it's small like it's a small, you know it's not that all the doctors and medical professionals and just health care providers in the world, but like you're able to, you know that Q and A session feature like you're able to actually talk to them sort of and ask them about their journeys, their success stories, their triumphs, and all of that and it's very encouraging to me, and I think that was my favorite thing. Just like being able to, you know, even if we're not seeing each other, like in person just being able to feel that sort of connection and feel a part of the community.
Do you have any suggestions for types of events or changes that would improve NPHC?
Hmm I really liked it um, but I think a suggestion I would say, was maybe would be maybe more breaks in between because it can be like a little bit tiring to have so many ways sessions in one go, especially in like in a virtual setting where you're like in front of the computer for like the whole day. I think that would be like the main thing, but it's not that big of an issue also. For sessions, I would say I don't know because I really liked the way that it was organized like the first day kind of like introductions stuff and sort of different fields and race stuff. And then the second day was more of like, you know, applications and then the third day was sort of like the first day--I liked that structure, so I don't know I liked it so far.
What are some resources that you would like for NPHC to provide throughout the year that you would find beneficial?
I really like that mentorship thing, maybe like newsletters about certain topics and specialties. Yeah and then having small sessions where you're able to like, if you're interested in something, be able to ask people who know a little bit more about that topic, I think that would be good.
Would you recommend other students to attend NPHC?
Definitely! I think it's a great way to just learn about life skills, not just pre-health and pre-med stuff, but also advice that you can utilize in literally any field. I think that you don't necessarily have to be interested [in healthcare], but you can still take so much valuable information from the sessions.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I just like that this NPHC conference is focused on the topic of unity, like unity in healthcare and uniting people from so many parts of the world to learn about their particular interests or interest in health care. I find that like very very good because sometimes you sort of feel like ,not alone because it's a big community, like a lot of pre-med pre-health, but you sort of sometimes need, you know, that sort of redirection and advice that just keeps you going and, you know, in the back of your mind, you know that what your choice you're making or whatever choices you make will contribute to your overall goal that you want.
This interview was carried out by Kathryn Moon on 8/11/2021.