Published: Sep 11, 2012 06:00 PM
Modified: Sep 08, 2012 11:36 AM
If its a medical term, Cary High School graduate Erin Beasley probably knows what it means. And how to use it in a sentence.
Beasley, a sophomore at N.C. State University, won first place in the medical terminology category at this summers Health Occupations Students of America National Leadership Conference.
This was Beasleys third year competing in medical terminology. The first year, she made it to the top ten at the state level; the second year, she placed fourth in the nation. Next, she might compete in the veterinary science category.
Beasley always knew she wanted to be a veterinarian. She had two dogs when she was growing up, and although she didnt know exactly what vets did, she was ready to sign up.
Today, she volunteers for veterinary organizations to learn as much as she can about her chosen field. Q:
What was the deciding factor in choosing veterinary medicine? A:
The summer after my junior year in high school, I participated in both a Duke Talent Identification Program and one with Cornell University. With Duke TIP, I went to Florida and spent two weeks at New College on Sarasota Bay in a program called Sensory Biology and Neuroscience of Marine Organisms.
We did fieldwork and dissections of fish, sharks and crayfish. We went on field trips to Epcot and did a backstage type of tour to see bottlenosed dolphins being trained. We also spent time in a marine laboratory that specialized in sea turtle and manatee research. It gave me more information about the research side of veterinary medicine.
After that, I went straight to Cornell, where I took a college class worth three credits called Sustainable Animal Husbandry. I learned about different livestock animals and went to farms that are part of Cornells agricultural college.
Both programs made me more aware in a broad sense of where you can go as a vet. Q:
What else helped you decide to pursue veterinary medicine? A:
(At Cary High) I took the Medical Science I class, which discussed body systems. Anatomy and physiology really interested me and gave me a greater passion for the subject matter. It seemed easy for me to pick up the information.
Then I took the Medical Science II class to learn skills for the medical field, like sterilization, how to take blood pressure and how to use a stethoscope.
For the second part of the class, we did job shadowing, and I shadowed Dr. Scott Wells at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital of the Carolinas. I got to see advanced procedures being done at an emergency clinic.
I also joined HOSA when I was a junior, and one of the main components was the competition. I competed in medical terminology both junior and senior years. Q:
And then you competed again this summer and won at nationals. How did you prepare? A:
When I first started competing, I just used terms from my class and had to guess at some of the answers. But as I got more serious about the event and had taken more classes, I learned more terminology.
The organizers tell you which books they will take the questions from; two are medical dictionaries, and one is a book about medical terminology and anatomy. Some of the questions make you apply things you know about parts of the words, and based on the combination, you have to reason out the meaning.
As I prepared, I collected words from the medical dictionary, from class, from everywhere. I wrote words down in my notebook; now I have a big notebook full of lists and terms. It was fun for me. Q:
How do you volunteer in the veterinary arena? A:
I am an intern at N.C. States VetPAC, which helps vet students learn about internships and how to prepare for vet school.
Last year, I tried to get involved with as many opportunities as possible. I judged Flyball, which is where two teams of dogs participate in a relay race; I volunteered with Operation Catnip, which (hosts) clinics for feral cats; I joined the Animal Science Club and got to show a heifer at the State Fair last year; and Im in the Wolfpack HOSA Club where I help out with Habitat for Humanity and blood drives.