Sarah Yoon-Miller, a first-year William Smith College student, has always wanted to practice medicine, and her hard work and determination have recently paid-off. Yoon-Miller will get a chance to see first hand what practicing medicine is like this summer as a part of the International Scholar Laureate Program (ISLP) Delegation on Medicine.
The program allows motivated, high-achieving college students, like Yoon-Miller, to participate in an once-in-a-lifetime trip to Australia, China or South Africa to work with distinguished medical leaders, researchers and practitioners to gain a head start toward their ambitious career goals. The participants will attend a series of lectures and hands-on experiences, even getting the opportunity to shadow professionals at health centers and orphanages.
Yoon-Miller will be a part of the South Africa program, which will include trips clinics, hospitals and academic settings in Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg. She and the other International Scholars will examine the efforts that are being made to restrict the spread of HIV/AIDS with limited infrastructure and medical supplies. The group will also learn about the medical customs and traditions of the Zulu nation.
“I am really looking forward to visiting the clinics and hospitals. I want to see first hand how things work in a different country. I am especially interested because my goal is to someday work in an underdeveloped or developing country,” says Yoon-Miller. “I am also interested in the AIDS epidemic. I am excited to learn what needs to be done so that someday I might be able to help stop the spread of the virus.”
During her sophomore year of high school, Yoon-Miller took part in the National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF) on medicine, the high school equivalent of the Laureate Program, in Boston. During that program, she was able to attend seminars by famous doctors and perform an experiment with gel electrophoresis.
“I really enjoyed the hands-on stuff, like learning how to suture oranges and shadowing different doctors in hospitals in and around Boston,” says Yoon-Miller of her first experience. “I had a good time meeting and learning with other students who were interested in the same things I am interested in. I am very excited.”
One of the Colleges’ two Blackwell scholars, Yoon-Miller has tried to gear her program of study and social activities toward her interest in medicine. She has studied biology, chemistry and economics at the Colleges, smartly realizing that the cost of health care is a major consideration for doctors in third-world countries. She is also a student athletic trainer for the Hobart Soccer team and the William Smith Basketball team. Additionally, Yoon-Miller is a part of the Biology Club, the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship group and the Bible Study Club. During her sophomore year, she will be the House Manager for the Christian Fellowship House on campus. The daughter of John and Mary Jo Miller of Trumansburg, Yoon-Miller was the valedictorian of Charles O. Dickerson High School’s 2005 graduating class.