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The doctor is in: Aspiring physician and MHS senior Ryder Shinaberry to take part in national youth conference on medicine

MORGANTOWN — Paramedics are the people you don’t want to see — and can’t wait to see at the same time.

Ryder Shinaberry, who will be a senior at Morgantown High School this fall, wants to do that job on his eventual way to medical school.

“It’s the rush of it,” he said, “but it really comes down to the fact that you’re helping people.”

He’ll get a real of sense of what working in medicine is actually like this coming week in Washington, D.C.

That’s when he takes part in the national Youth Leadership Forum in Medicine, which is offered every summer through Envision by World Strides, a learning-enrichment company born out of a long-ago field trip.

Its origin story came from the mind of a Connecticut teacher who took her kids on a field trip to the nation’s capital and was looking for ways to enhance that experience.

“I’m excited for the opportunity,” said the senior, who is also enrolled in the pharmacy technician program at the Monongalia County Technical Education Center.

“We’re going to be doing a lot of stuff,” he said.

Stuff, including sitting in on seminar-style gatherings presided over by emergency-room physicians and microbiologists.

He and his fellow participants will also slip into scrubs for visits to working medical facilities at Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland.

Shinaberry’s first heroes, in fact, were the people in those scrubs as depicted on TV and in the movies.

“They were always in the middle of everything,” he said.

He grew up in the middle of the medical field.

His mother is a licensed physical therapist, and he would spend hours thumbing through medical school-styled books on neuromuscular systems.

And his maternal grandmother was a nurse.

His instructors at MTEC nominated him for the forum — that’s they only way a student gets the invite.

Shinaberry also works the drive-through lane at a fast-food restaurant, donning the headset and making sure orders are filled and customers are happy.

“Customer service is the key,” he said.

When he isn’t working and studying, you’ll likely find him in the great outdoors of the Mountain State, where he enjoys hiking, snowboarding and the whole bit.

After high school, he wants to take a gap year before college.

Working as a paramedic or a pharmacy technician for a while, he said, can only make him be a better physician.

Be it in the emergency room or the lab, he likes the idea of doing his bit in medicine.

“You can make a difference,” he said.

For the past 15 months, he’s been more than impressed, he said, by the epidemiologists and pharmacy technicians working to make a difference in the midst of the pandemic.

He remembers exactly what he was thinking and what he said on March 13, 2020, when Gov. Jim Justice shuttered the schools while the coronavirus was nipping at the state’s borders.

“I said to everybody, ‘Guys, we aren’t gonna see each other for a long time.’ ”

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