Newbury Park High School senior Sam Gutnik was honored recently with a nomination to the Congress of Future Medical Leaders’ “Award for Excellence.”
The award recognizes outstanding academic achievement, leadership potential, and determination to serve humanity in the area of medicine and research sciences.
Gutnik is interested in pursuing a career in the medical field relating to sports, possibly orthopedic surgery.
“My biology teacher, Mr. Erickson, got me interested in the medical field,” said Gutnik. “I had just hurt my collarbone in football, and I realized I could help other athletes recover from their injuries both physically and emotionally.”
This award requires students to have been nominated by a teacher or counselor. They must have a GPA of 3.5 or higher and show an interest in medical or research sciences.
Those who are part of the Congress have the opportunity to come together for a conference where they will hear from Nobel Prize winners, top medical school deans, and leaders in medicine.
Students also have the opportunity to view live surgery. They can also ask the surgeons questions that will be answered in real-time.
Unfortunately, students this year will not be meeting in person. The Congress will be conducted over virtual video calls.
“It was a really long Zoom call, but I met a ton of new people,” said Gutnik. “One that stood out was Jim Kwik, a memory master. After only 10 minutes I was able to remember a lot more than I was able to before.”
Gutnik has been on his high school football and track teams for more than three years and has been a scholar-athlete.
On the Panthers Football Team, Gutnik played running back and offensive linebacker. Gutnik also ran the 4x100m, 200m, 100m, and the 4x400m.
Due to the COVID pandemic, Gutnik has missed his junior year track season during which he was hoping to outperform his previous second-place finish in the same 200-meter race that he won previously. He also missed out on summer football, but football is scheduled to start in January.
Although missing out on so much due to the situations in the world, Gutnik advises others, “Try to be positive. There is a lot of negativity, and we need to be positive and help to build others up. Love breeds love.”