MARINE ON ST. CROIX — All high school students make post-graduation plans, and it can be a challenge. But Karina IkutaSchodde has it all figured out.
This summer, IkutaSchodde attended the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine (NYLFM) in Chicago to learn more about medical careers and school. She came away knowing she wanted to become a neurosurgeon after watching brain surgery via webcam.
“I was somewhat considering the field of medicine before, but the NYLFM opened up my eyes to the years of work and schooling you have to put in,” she said.
IkutaSchodde will be a Stillwater Area High School (SAHS) junior this fall and is currently involved in cross country running and track and field. She hopes to join art club as well. IkutaSchodde also enjoys chemistry and is excited to take Advanced Placement biology this year.
“I was nominated by my teachers for this program based on my strong academic and athletic performance and demonstration of leadership skills through community work that I’ve done through my family’s foundation,” she said.
The NYLFM puts students attending the forum in small, group-based meetings about medical school and the different career paths in medicine. IkutaSchodde said there were also hands-on activities, like going to the University of Wisconsin Medical School and using the Health Clinical Simulation Center, which is used to train new doctors.
Neurosurgeons must go through rigorous schooling: four years of college, then four years of medical school, then a residency longer than other medical residencies at five to seven years, then an optional fellowship, which can take two to five years.
IkutaSchodde now feels prepared to start seriously looking at colleges after learning the college process. She is very interested in Northwestern University in Chicago.
IkutaSchodde rounded out her trip to Chicago with some sightseeing at Millennium Park with its giant mirrored bean.
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