4 advance to HOSA state competition


provided by Maribeth Thomas

(from left to right) Juniors Shobha Melukote, Merlyn George, Elana Breslav, and Ria Bhasin placed 5th at the area competition for Biomedical Debate.

Megan Lin, Editor-in-chief

Senior Samantha Wood and juniors Lisa Punnen, Amna Haque, and William Wang advanced to the HOSA state competition and will be traveling to Grapevine in April to compete with students all across Texas.

“Texas is a very large and competitive state, if not the most competitive among all 50 states,” advisor Maribeth Thomas said via email. “Simply making it to the state level in Texas is an impressive feat for any competitor.”

The Biomedical Debate Team consisting of juniors Ria Bhasin, Elana Breslav, Merlyn George, and Shobha Melukote placed 5th and sophomore Anna Ramasamy placed 4th in Medical Spelling at the area competition.

“The HOSA area we compete in to move on to state has the most students (upwards of 2000+ competitors). It includes not only  all of DFW but also surrounding areas extending out to east Texas as well,” Thomas said. “So our area conference is a good foundation for the size and competitive levels state competition provides. We are against many CATE speciality schools that have more resources but our Liberty students do fare well.”

Going to the state level allows students to make connections with potential future colleagues.

“It is a great honor to be recognized as a state competitor for HOSA,” Thomas said. “The experience in competition and learning skills for future medical careers also builds on the networking opportunities with not only judges in the healthcare field but also with students from other areas of the state who have the same interests.”

Junior Lisa Punnen placed third in Pathophysiology and hopes the competition will help her gain some experience for a future career.

“I’m just happy that three years of work have finally paid off,” Punnen said via text. “I’ve been taking the pathophysiology test since freshman year and I’ve never advanced, but I liked the subject and the challenge too much to give up. From what others have said, I think it’s one of the harder tests, but I thought that pathophysiology would be really relevant and good to learn about especially since I want to be a doctor and go to medical school one day.”

Many competitors must prepare for their competitions outside of their schoolwork, with assistance from Thomas and other resources.

“Online and print resources are provided as recommended study guides from HOSA,” Thomas said. “As a HOSA advisor, I’ve also created quizlet sets related to many of the events. Some students even get in touch with the mentors in the medical occupations for more personal assistance.”

However, as the historian, junior Amna Haque’s competition was slightly different from the other competitors.

“Historians do the Outstanding HOSA Chapter competition every year and they can do other competitions along with that but since it’s my junior year I decided I would only do that one,” Haque said. “Basically what it is is it’s a scrapbook of the entire year so on each page you have to have a paragraph about all the events you did such as community service, school service, publicity and stuff like that. So basically you turn all that into a scrapbook, take photographs throughout the year, design it however you want and you advance if you have the amount of points that they require for each portion of the scrapbook.”

Haque’s advancement had some special meaning to her as well.

“Last year, I did the PSA competition and so we won 6th place out of like 50 and only the top 5 went to state,” Haque said. “So I feel proud of myself for going to state.”