Alexandra Sweilem, a junior at Regina Dominican, was accepted into the Northwestern Medicine Discovery Program. Throughout the two-year program, high school students are exposed to a broad range of activities designed to encourage their interest in healthcare careers.
“My interest in medicine began with someone close to me being diagnosed with cancer. This intrigued me because he was someone who had not genetically inherited any diseases, developed cancer. Becoming a surgical oncologist has been a passion of mine since then, and is a career I would like to pursue,” said Sweilem.
Discovery Program topics vary by month and activities may include tours, guest speakers, group discussion, and hands-on projects. They include emergency medicine, surgery, cardiology, neurology, and hospital administration.
“Since middle school health class, I’ve been eager to learn everything I can about the human body and how it functions. Oncology captures my interest as much as surgery does,” said Sweilem. “Currently, my favorite subject is chemistry. In this class, I walk in and learn a new topic each and every day. Then, I’m able to get my hands dirty and apply what I learned in the lab by doing experiments and recording results.”