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Warwick pair on verge of making history

With graduation in sight two Warwick Academy students are on the verge of an unprecedented achievement in the school's history.

For two years, Russell Conyers and Lindsay Fisher have jumped over a seemingly endless number of academic and administrative hurdles on the road to medical school.

And now, with the burden of college applications lifted, the head boy and girl of their International Baccalaureate class have only their exams — which begin today — left to go.

“It's just that last hurdle to get over,” said Russell, who will be committing to the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, results permitting.

“I've had so many breakdowns this year. Asking myself ‘why am I doing this?' But now it feels so good,” said Lindsay, who will be going to the University of Edinburgh. “Now that we're almost done, everything is out of the way, except focusing on our exams.”

The 17-year-olds said they couldn't have gone through the process without each other.

“I don't think I could have done this without Russell. Honestly, I don't,” said Lindsay. “We used each other so much. To have someone to go through it with was unbelievably helpful.”

“It's a huge task to deal with by yourself,” said Russell. “Obviously there's an amazing support staff here at Warwick, but if you have someone approaching it from your point of view, and they know how confusing it is, you can just sit together and ask each other: ‘What does this mean?'”

Lindsay added: “Not to take away from the school, because they were really helpful, but they were only as helpful as they could be. Because we're supposedly the first people to do it, they were just as new to it as we were.”

The school said they can't find any other examples of a Warwick Academy student getting accepted into medical school straight out of the IB programme, and that to do so is “an extremely difficult achievement.”

For Lindsay, the joyous moment every college-bound student remembers came on sports day, when she left the field to go check her e-mail, which she admitted had become some what of an obsession over the weeks. But for her, and for Russell, it was the rejection letters that came first, making their ultimate acceptances that much sweeter.

“It was overwhelming. I will never forget it,” said Lindsay. “I was checking my e-mail like six times a day, which just makes the tension worse. So I went up from the field to check my e-mail and I had the letter saying I was in, so I just fell on the floor and started crying.”

Russell had to go around a rather more circuitous route to get his good news.

“The Irish send their acceptance letters by mail, because apparently e-mail is too easy, who knows,” he said. “I got an e-mail saying I have a package at Mailboxes, so I went down and found this massive box and there's a photocopy of teacups on the outside. I have an uncle named Russell Conyers, and he had ordered a china set and I had gotten it. I called my uncle to let him know, but I decided to stop by Fed Ex just to check if they had anything in, and as luck would have it, they did. And I almost started crying in front of the Fed Ex people.”

The pair said they are looking forward to exploring the fields of study medicine has to offer, before making any choice about which area they might want to go in. But, for both, the decision to pursue medicine was an obvious one.

“I think for me it was a combination of factors,” said Russell. “I knew I wanted to do something that involved people, because I like working with people. I think I'm quite personable. But I'm also really interested in the science side, the whole problem-solving aspect really appealed to me.”

“I know that medicine is for me,” said Lindsay, “but I can't give a specific reason why. I would agree with the reasons Russell gave, but I think the biggest thing for me is the uniquely human quality of medicine. You really have to learn how to connect with people to understand their problems. But also, it's really dynamic. It's always changing. It's very challenging. There's just so many different aspects you can be involved in, it's exciting to learn about all of them and be able to pick one.”

Head Girl Lindsay Fisher and head boy Russell Conyers (Photo by Mark Tatem)

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Published May 05, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated May 04, 2014 at 11:35 pm)

Warwick pair on verge of making history

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