Set on a career in medicine
Shivam Patel doesn’t just imagine the work he could do as a doctor. He’s already trying it out.
He volunteers weekly on the surgical recovery floor at WakeMed Cary Hospital and recently attended the National Youth Leadership Forum in Medicine in Washington, D.C. In 2012, he initiated contact with and worked as a research assistant for a physiologist at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. Together they examined the effects of pharmaceutical drugs used to treat cardiovascular diseases on rat cells.
Patel, 17, will be one of 19 students entering ECU in August as EC Scholars – the most prestigious academic scholarship program the university offers. The Cary resident said he felt something click when he visited ECU.
“I became instantly interested in attending,” Patel recalled. He said he had “a wonderful experience with accommodating professors and other staff members” while on campus.
“I realized that the Honors College here at ECU provides me with plentiful resources for furthering my education, both within and outside the classroom,” he said. “The research background I will gain at ECU will provide me with a sound foundation for my future career in medicine.”
Patel plans to major in biology. He has been accepted to ECU’s Early Assurance program, which guarantees Patel admittance to the Brody School of Medicine upon completion of his undergraduate degree.
“Both letters (EC Scholars and Early Assurance) came in the mail the same day,” he said. “I was anxious when they arrived but I opened them and jumped up and down.”
Becoming an EC Scholar “enables me to act as a leader on campus and within my surrounding community,” Patel added.
He has already established a record of service. He helped organize a fundraiser for victims of the March 2010 Haiti earthquake in addition to his time with WakeMed. Patel also volunteered with the Miracle League, assisting people with disabilities who play baseball.
Patel hopes to center his future study abroad experience on examining health care access and outcome disparities, and is considering India as a possible destination. This summer he plans to travel across multiple European countries with his family “exploring ancient history and diverse cultures and lifestyles.”
He is the son of Pravin and Monal Patel.
-- Steve Tuttle and Kathryn Kennedy