This week, we get advice from Ashnaa Rao, 17, a former student at Providence Day School. Ashnaa now attends Saddlebrook Preparatory School in Tampa, where she plays tennis. Ashnaa, a rising senior, is vice president of student council, secretary of the National Honor Society and two-time winner of the gold Presidential Award for educational excellence. Ashnaa helped her father create the Alzheimers Disease Pocket Dictionary. The book, published eight months ago, features designated pages for notes or questions to ask during doctors appointments and also has an A-Z reference section to explain medical terminology, symptoms and medications.
Q: What about medicine do you enjoy?
The challenges of learning that will ultimately help people.
Q: What was noteworthy about working with your father on the Alzheimers guide?
It gave me the opportunity to understand the current and future challenges in health care. Just looking at Alzheimers disease, if we do not find a way of slowing down its progression or curing the disease, the number of people affected will quadruple. It also allowed me to spend a lot of time with my father.
Q: What advice would you give to other kids who want to get involved in medicine?
In the medical field, because it deals with human lives and requires a huge commitment, make sure it is something you are passionate about.
Q: Can you tell readers a fun fact about yourself that others may not know?
I have a French bulldog who is named after the professional tennis player Rafael Nadal.
Q: What are your hobbies?
Tennis, Indian classical dance, music, reading.
Q: What are three things everyone should have with them at all times?
1. Cellphone. 2. Chocolate. 3. A family picture.
Q: Do you have a motto in life you tend to live by?
Hard work beats talent when talent doesnt work hard! Anonymous
Q: What keeps you motivated?
The desire to reach my full potential motivates me.
Q: What is your dream job?
My dream job is to become a sports medicine doctor who works with high-performance athletes.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
My immediate plans over the coming months will be to raise awareness of Alzheimers disease and promote the book, to raise funds to support the Alzheimers Associations initiatives in research and education. This coming fall I will need to finalize a list of colleges that I would like to attend. Longer term, I will pursue a career in medicine.