Heavy Thunderstorms and Heavy Rain, 72°
Weather sponsored by:

Middleburg Honor Student nominated for Congress of Future Medical Leaders

By Kylie Cordell For Clay Today
Posted 5/11/23

CLAY COUNTY – Colin Edwards is the second Clay County student nominated to attend this year’s National Congress of Future Medical Leaders and Physicians, an honors-only program for high school …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Don't have an ID?


Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.

Non-subscribers

Click here to see your options for subscribing.

Single day pass

You also have the option of purchasing 24 hours of access, for $1.00. Click here to purchase a single day pass.

Middleburg Honor Student nominated for Congress of Future Medical Leaders


Posted

CLAY COUNTY – Colin Edwards is the second Clay County student nominated to attend this year’s National Congress of Future Medical Leaders and Physicians, an honors-only program for high school students wanting to become physicians or pursue medical research.

Edwards’ nomination was signed by Dr. Mario Capecchi, winner of the Nobel Prize and the Science Director of the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists, for his outstanding academic achievement.

“When I first received the letter, I was shocked. One day I was at work, and my mom made me look in the kitchen, and I saw the letter saying that I was nominated,” he said. ‘I am very honored to be attending the conference.”

The Congress of Future Medical Leaders Conference will be held June 21-23 on the University of Massachusetts’ Lowell campus.

During the three-day congress, the 17-year-old from Middleburg High will join students from across the country and hear Nobel laureates and National Medal of Science winners talk about leading medical research. Participants will be advised by Ivy League and premier medical school deans on what to expect in medical school. They will hear stories of patients living medical miracles, be inspired by fellow teen medical science prodigies, and learn about cutting-edge advances and the future of medicine and medical technology.

Edwards will join Fleming Island High’s Stratton Fulker at the conference.

“We will be learning from and observing some of the most brilliant minds in medicine today,” Edwards said. “I look forward to learning about new medical advancements and what medicine will look like in the future.”

Edwards is most excited to hear from specialists about the implementation of current and future practices of Emergency Medicine. He attributes his interest in Emergency Medicine to his parents and older sister.

“My mom is a paramedic and works with mental health patients. My dad is a paramedic firefighter, and my sister is an emergency room nurse at St. Vincent’s Clay, so we are a family of paramedics and first responders.”

Colin grew up surrounded by medical professionals. However, the real turning point in his decision to pursue a medical career was when illness struck his family.

“I was very close to my grandmother, who passed away from cancer in June. I was 16. It was a very hard time for me when she got sick, but the medical professionals really helped our family.”

His mother, Jennifer Edwards, agrees they are a “science and behavioral-focused family.”

“We have a very open perspective of the real things happening in our world,” she said

“Colin is very levelheaded. Because he has not been filled with unrealistic notations of life, he has a good perception of what it’s like [to be on the scene]. As a paramedic, you have good and bad days. He knows that.”

Starting this summer, Edwards will volunteer at the Jacksonville Fire Station and shadow paramedics and EMTS to get first-hand experience working with providers and patients in the back of the rescue vehicle.

“I am going to a local fire station so they can teach me how paramedics respond to emergencies and the hard work they put out there,” he said.

Besides volunteering, Edwards plans to continue Advanced Placement courses at Middleburg High School and eventually enter the dual enrollment program at St. Johns River State College.

“I will start my medical journey by taking classes at St. Johns River State College as part of their dual enrollment program my senior year. My goal is to get my EMT license and then go to the University of Florida to become a paramedic,” he said. “I want to be there to help patients on the hardest day of their life.”

“I have a long road ahead of me, but I know I will get there. Anyone can achieve their goals if they are determined and put in the effort. You have to believe in yourself and want to make things happen,” Edwards said.

He would like to thank his mentors.

“First, I want to thank my mom, who has always pushed me and told me that I can do anything if I work hard enough. Secondly, I want to thank my teachers who have been patient with me throughout the years and Lieutenant Tommy Mahon with the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department.”