Micah Council really knows what he wants to do with his life.
The Enloe High School junior wants to be an orthopedic doctor and is doing everything he can to enhance his opportunities to achieve his goal.
At 16, he’s already attended Enloe’s Medical Bio-Science Academy, which gives students the curriculum and technical education to further their careers in the health care field through meetings, events and classes. He’s taken health-related honors classes, which have given him the opportunity to see health labs at Elon and the UNC Allied Health Sciences program. He’s taking more honors health classes this school year.
And in July after scoring high on the PSAT, Micah was invited to the National Student Leadership Conference on Medicine & Health Care at Harvard University in Boston, a 10-day event that showed him that medicine was his calling.
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“I learned from and heard from a lot of different medical professionals,” Micah said. “Some of them were physicians, some were emergency medicine and surgeons and physician assistants. I learned more about public health. We were able to watch a filmed open-heart surgery.”
According to the leadership conference’s website, the students who participate observe physicians performing clinical rounds, learn medical examination and surgical techniques, participate in diagnosis and treatment, and attend college-level lectures from doctors on the art and science of medicine.
Participants are high school students chosen from around the world who demonstrate academic excellence and leadership ability and maintain at least a B average, according to the website.
Deciding on medicine
Micah, the son of Deirdre and Harold Council of Wake Forest, decided to go into medicine before he was in high school. As an eighth-grader at Ligon Middle School, he applied to Enloe’s Medical Bio-Science Academy. That’s when he says he really thought about his career path. He also said the conferences he’s been to have helped him make his decision.
“Micah is a very devoted medical academy member,” said Deborah Massengill, director and coordinator of Enloe’s Medical Bio-Science Academy. “Micah has assisted with the many blood drives at Enloe, helped with a career fair at Enloe and has assisted with other community service projects. Micah is a very mature and focused young man who does his best in all of his classes and is always respectful.”
The opportunities at Enloe have been good for him. This year, he’s taking Health Science II, an honors class that focuses on public health and health-related organizations. As a sophomore, he took a sports medicine class, which he really liked.
“I want to be an orthopedic doctor,” he said. “I enjoy sports medicine, and I’m interested in sports injuries. I want to be a team doctor as well.”
After high school, Micah wants to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, East Carolina University or Duke University, he said, but he wants to keep his medical school options open.
One of his idols is presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson, a renowned neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital who was the first surgeon to surgically separate conjoined twins joined at the head. Carson overcame anger issues as a youth to graduate from Yale University and achieve a medical degree from the University of Michigan.
“How he came from a background like his to impact the medical field and then more is impressive,” Micah said.
Doing more than science
Micah’s interests spread beyond athletics.
He runs cross country and loves music. He’s a talented musician who played in Enloe’s marching band as a freshman and sophomore. This school year he’s part of the school’s wind ensemble. He also knows how to play the snare, timpani, xylophone and the keyboard.
He attends Eagle Christian Center in Wake Forest, and is very spiritual, Deirdre Council said. He also has a part-time job at Chick-fil-A.
Deirdre and Harold Council knew early on that their son was a high achiever.
“We’ve known he’s had what it takes since elementary school,” Deirdre Council said. “He’s very bright, always good in math and science. He has been a hard worker. We’ve tried to tone him down. He falls asleep most nights with his head in a school book.”
About the series
For the next eight editions of Thumbs Up, we’ll be highlighting students who excel in STEM activities and education, a curriculum that focuses on science, technology, engineering and math.
Join us for STEMology
The News & Observer and Bayer CropScience are teaming up to bring you STEMology, an event designed to bring together STEM leaders and students. It will feature student demonstrations, interactive displays, a panel discussion and food.
When: Oct. 22, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Where: Raleigh Marriot City Center, 500 Fayetteville St.
Cost: $10 for adults, $5 for ages 6-17, free for ages 5 and under.