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2015 ANNUAL REPORT

21

Sometimes the requests attached

to membership in the AANS can

be surprising.

U.S.A. Today

reached out to staff at the AANS about

a program it was running for middle-school students.

Seventh and 8th grade students were asked to write an

essay about their career aspirations, detailing their thoughts

on the professions they hoped to enter into as adults. Part

of the prize for winning the essay contest included a day

shadowing someone in that dreamt-about profession.

One of the winning essays, submitted by Alahji Barry, a

middle schooler from Atlanta, concluded his essay with the

following paragraph:

My decision to become a neurosurgeon did not come in

a moment of blinding revelation, but as a result of an

interest in science. Through future experiences I will

encounter, I can think of no other profession that is so

fulfilling and rewarding as that of a neurosurgeon. The

road to becoming a brain surgeon is necessarily a long

one. But with the sufficient amount of dedication, and my

strong passion to learn, I will be able to achieve my dream.

In addition, I will not allow anything to interfere with the

attainment of my goal.

Alahji’s goal created a slight dilemma for the contest

organizers: where could they find a neurosurgeon willing

to spend time with a teenager? Enter the AANS and

Regis W. Haid Jr., MD, FAANS, who took time out of

his busy schedule to meet with Alahji and show him the

neurosurgical ropes.

“I really enjoyed meeting with Alahji, hearing about his

hopes for his future and sharing some of my professional

experiences with him. The founding principles of

neurosurgery have always included taking time for the next

generation, and, while Alahji is younger than most, his

interest, inquisitiveness and intelligence created a day that

was as memorable for me as I hope it was for him,” said Dr.

Haid. “You don’t often get to spend the afternoon with the

future. I highly recommend the experience.”