MHS to Hold Second Annual MedTalks Conference

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Media by Austin Richard

Herzog presents his discoveries on the internal clock. Through his studies, he hopes to discover how specific molecules, cells and circuits affect people's daily schedules, and furthermore, how this knowledge could be used to treat certain diseases.

Cardiology, heart transplants, anesthesiology, infectious diseases and more will be covered by medical experts at the upcoming MedTalks conference. 

Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) will be holding its second annual MedTalks March 29. The event gives attendees the opportunity to learn more about the medical field from local researchers and doctors. 

Lisa Del Pizzo, sponsor of HOSA, said Neha Bollam, class of 2019, came up with the idea of MedTalks to fundraise for the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation. Bollam was able to use many of the connections she had made previously through summer programs at Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) to contact speakers.

Del Pizzo said many of the speakers are chosen through student participation in programs and internships at WashU or Saint Louis University. 

“For the most part, these are all doctors who want to contribute to the guidance and drawing more students to healthcare,” Del Pizzo said.

Del Pizzo said attendees will gain different perspectives on certain topics in medicine to pique their interest.

“There are a lot of opportunities here available for kids that most high school kids never have,” Del Pizzo said. 

Sneha Chandra, junior, is co-coordinator of MedTalks. She began preparing for MedTalks this past summer by contacting possible speakers through previous connections and searching online. 

This year, MedTalks will include a medical student panel, where attendees can gain insight into whether medical school is the right fit for them. Over the summer, Chandra attended Camp Cardiac, which featured a student-run panel. She contacted the organizer of the panel and was able to get a group of medical students for the panel. 

Chandra said MedTalks is an inexpensive way to expose attendees to different medical fields.

“They get to learn more about certain medical professionals and ask questions one on one for only five dollars,” Chandra said. 

Chandra said in the following years, MedTalks will try to include more speakers covering more growing medical fields, such as biomedical engineering. 

Dr. Jay McDonald, associate professor of medicine at WashU School of Medicine, will speak about the ongoing worldwide outbreak of coronavirus and go into details about his specialty: infectious diseases. To prepare for MedTalks, Dr. McDonald has been staying aware of new details about the recent coronavirus outbreak. 

“We’re learning new and interesting things about the coronavirus outbreak every day,” Dr. McDonald said. “I’m watching closely so what I talk about will hopefully be timely and will include the most interesting aspects of the outbreak.”

Dr. McDonald was contacted by Del Pizzo to be a speaker. He accepted given his three sons went to MHS and he enjoys speaking about his work. 

Dr. McDonald said MedTalks can spark an interest in a topic, show people the different pathways medicine can take or solidify a career interest in a particular area. 

All proceeds made from tickets and concessions will be donated to the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation. Last year, HOSA raised $600 solely from the proceeds made from MedTalks to the National Pediatric Cancer Foundaton. Tickets are $5 and can be bought using a ticket form on the MHS website, during lunch or by the door.