Feature | My Experience at ACC.19

Cardiology Magazine Image

I am a 17-year-old senior in high school. I am a published journalist. I may well be one of the youngest persons to experience ACC.19. This is every young journalist's dream: to be surrounded by thousands of important people who've come together to talk about their work and their most recent innovations, and to be interviewed and photographed.

This is heaven especially if you want to pursue a career in medicine and journalism. I want to become a doctor and work my way towards becoming a medical journalist to merge two of my passions. In August, I start my journey towards this goal at Louisiana State University.

My experience at ACC.19 was amazing. It turned out to be something I never imagined. I experienced three very important things that I probably wouldn't have gotten to anywhere else.

One, I got a close-up look at a day in the life of a journalist from different aspects, including press conferences, newspaper writing and editing, interviewing and social media relations.

'…this wonderful opportunity allowed me to ask and answer the question everyone, at some point, asks themselves when they consider a career path: How will I know if I'll actually like this job once I start it? Being at ACC.19 helped me to answer this question because this firsthand experience made me feel right at home.  

Two, I experienced what it's like for doctors from one specialized field to come together and discuss research they've conducted. Third, I experienced what it's like to be in a real professional, business setting; everyone knowing what they must do and getting it done.

The liveliness of the Expo gave me a fangirl moment – it was like seeing a bunch of celebrities in one big room!

Day One I began my day with the Opening Session, which was very exciting. There were doctors, reporters, young scholars and all the important presentation speakers. There were cool displays on the jumbo screens and great lighting displays. I listened to two presentations, including the Apple Watch Study. Afterwards, I went to the Publisher's Office to meet the amazing team I had the pleasure of working with for three days.

I got the chance to proofread articles for the daily newspaper and experience my very first press conference ever. Experiencing the press conference from two perspectives – as a journalist it gave insights on interviewing and as an aspiring doctor it gave an idea of what to expect when presenting findings from case studies and research – was extremely enlightening.

Although I would've liked the chance to ask some questions, I felt lucky enough just to hear the conversations among everyone. In addition to meeting many people apart from the ACC, I got to meet a renowned cardiologist, Dr. Porter, which gave me the chance to learn about the research that he conducted.

Day Two Although this was not as hectic as the first day, it was much more jam packed for me. I got to write my first two pieces for an ACC publication, proofread another issue of the ACC newspaper, sit in on a "women in the workforce" discussion and watch the FIT Jeopardy game.

On Day Two I also walked around the Expo and talk to lots of people and learned about the technological advances they were working on. I also had the chance to connect with people and gain insights on what it takes to be a presenter at ACC.19.

One thing I enjoyed too was that no one knew I was in high school; they either thought I was a cardiologist or an ACC staff member. At one point, I felt like I was truly part of their world, which helped me to realize this is what I want for myself. I want to be part of a community as welcoming and enlightening as the ACC.

Day Three I truly felt like a regular member of the team on my third day. I came in and started working right away. I explored the Expo and watched the ACC Vascular Shark Tank. In addition to seeing cardiologists pitch their innovative ideas, I also got to meet more doctors, publishers and ACC staff members.

To conclude my time at ACC.19, I attended Convocation, which was amazing! The reception after Convocation was probably one of my most favorite parts because met people from all over, establish connections and receive valuable advice for college. This experience was definitely one for the books!

Overall, this wonderful opportunity that I was given allowed me to really ask and answer the question everyone, at some point, asks themselves when they consider a new career path: How will I know if I'll actually like this job once I start it? Being at ACC.19 helped me to answer this question because once I got the firsthand experience it made me feel right at home.

After my time at ACC.19, I know I can successfully merge two very different fields. I also realize that if my first career goal of becoming a doctor doesn't suit me later on, the journalism path will fit me just fine. I couldn't have come to any of these conclusions without this opportunity.

This experience gave me a real-world simulation of how my life would be if I invest in a career in both medicine and journalism. I am so lucky to have been a part of such an innovative project. I would be happy to be at ACC.20 and I would love to see more high school journalists given the chance to experience what I did.

On my second day, I realized what I want: I want to be part of a community as welcoming and enlightening as the ACC.

Cardiology Magazine ImageSasha Bourne with the Communications Team.
Cardiology Magazine Image

This essay was authored by Sasha Bourne, a high school senior in New Orleans, who worked with ACC's Communications Team during ACC.19.

Keywords: ACC Publications, Cardiology Magazine, ACC Annual Scientific Session, ACC19, Algorithms, Anxiety, Aspirin, Anticoagulants, Cardiovascular Diseases, Atrial Fibrillation, Comorbidity, Control Groups, Depression, Electrocardiography, Ambulatory, Dementia, Drug-Eluting Stents, Intention to Treat Analysis, Heart Failure, Malus, Mitral Valve, Mitral Valve Insufficiency, Myocardial Infarction, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (U.S.), Odds Ratio, Patient Selection, Patient Readmission, Photoplethysmography, Precipitating Factors, Pyrazoles, Quality of Life, Psychiatry, Pyridones, Risk Factors, Referral and Consultation, Venous Thromboembolism, Self Report, Substance-Related Disorders, Research Personnel, Ticlopidine, Ventricular Dysfunction, Right, Stroke, Warfarin

< Back to Listings