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MCPHS student Zeyuan Li

Premedical Health Studies Student Accepted into the American College of Cardiology’s Young Scholars Program

  • Premedical Health Studies student, Zeyuan Li, BS '24, was accepted into the American College of Cardiology’s Young Scholars Program.

    The Young Scholars program aims to provide promising young students with an introduction to the field of cardiology. As part of the program, Li will be visiting New Orleans, Louisiana to attend the ACC's Annual Scientific Session (ACC.23). This is the 72nd annual conference and it will be held jointly with the World Congress of Cardiology (WCC) for the first time in 2023.

    During the one-year-long program, Li is also expected to work virtually – through regularly scheduled webinars and Webex/Zoom calls – with a faculty mentor on a research project.

    The Path To Cardiology

    Growing up in China, Li played table tennis for more than 10 years. He constantly saw athletes injured during the competition and wanted to do something about it. After speaking with his grandfather who is an internal medicine physician, Li decided that he would like to become a surgeon. A few years later, his grandfather was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, an irregular and often very rapid heart rhythm (arrhythmia) that can lead to blood clots in the heart. This led him to the path to cardiology.

    "I wanted to pursue cardiology because of his condition. I want to research and dig a little bit more to see the mechanisms of what exactly this disease is, how it is treated, how it affects people, and what age group is affected the most by this disease," he says.

    Why MCPHS

    Li decided to apply to the Bachelor of Science in Premedical Health Studies at MCPHS for several reasons. Firstly, he had visited Boston for the Internationally Genetically Engineered Machine Competition (iGEM) competition where he represented his high school.

    "I really liked the city, it's a fantastic area and there's a lot of hospitals and research centers and this is why I wanted to do my pre-med studies here," he says.

    Secondly, he was attracted to the program's curriculum.

    "It has a combination of science and non-science courses which helps the student develop on both sides," he says. "Science is obviously important but it's also important for students to learn how to communicate with patients."

    As a future doctor, science communication is something that is very important to him. He is currently in the LIB 220: Introduction to Interpersonal Communication for Health Professionals class where he is learning about how to build relationships with patients.

    "You can have a doctor that doesn't really care about you and is giving you medication and signing you up for tests, but they aren’t putting themselves in your shoes, that's not going to work . . . doctors need to put themselves in the patient's shoes and really care about patients," he says.

    Young Scholars Program

    It was February 8— a day that Li will remember forever as the day that he received his admission letter to the Young Scholars Program.

    "I was really excited because this program will help me bridge my current knowledge in cardiology to an upper-level knowledge," he says.

    Due to his grandfather's condition, Li has spent years researching atrial fibrillation but he wants to also know about other diseases that affect the heart.

    "Cardiovascular disease remains one of the most deadly diseases affecting the world. This is a great opportunity for me to learn about this organ," he says. "I think the heart is the most important organ in the human body. It offers people the chance of life on this planet. Without the heart, we cannot survive."

    Li credits Assistant Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences J Alex Trayford for his assistance on the American College of Cardiology’s Young Scholars Program.

    "He really cares about students and he helped me a lot with the personal statement and letter of recommendation," he says. "I'm really glad that I met him."

    After graduation, Li plans to attend medical school and pursue a residency in the field of cardiology.

    The School of Arts and Sciences at MCPHS integrates liberal arts and sciences with professional studies, including a Bachelor of Science Premedical Health Studies program designed to jump-start the healthcare careers of future leaders.