Scripps National Spelling Bee champ becomes ophthalmologist for one day

August 30, 2014

Sriram Hathwar co-won this year’s 87th Annual Scripps National Spell Bee, but the 14-year-old had another one of his dreams come true Friday-to experience what it is like to be an ophthalmologist for a day.

Philadelphia, PA-Sriram Hathwar co-won this year’s 87th Annual Scripps National Spell Bee, but the 14-year-old had another one of his dreams come true Friday-to experience what it is like to be an ophthalmologist for a day.

The teen from Painted Post, NY, got to tour the Wills Eye Hospital with Ophthalmologist-in-Chief, Julia Haller, MD. Dr. Haller showed Hathwar simulated eye surgery and hi-tech visual diagnostic testing.

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Hathwar also toured historic Philadelphia and had lunch with the residents, researchers, and fellows from Wills Eye to learn more about the field he said he wants to pursue as his future profession.

Upon learning of the national spelling bee co-champion’s interest in medicine-specifically ophthalmology-Wills Eye reached out to Hathwar with a care package that included the hospital’s manual, along with other materials and gifts, including t-shirts for him and his brother.

 

“We (wanted) Sriram to see what world-class ophthalmology looks like,” Dr. Haller told PRWeb. “My policy is that it’s never too early to recruit a brilliant prospect! If Sriram decides to pursue ophthalmology, we hope he remembers his time at Wills Eye, and strongly considers the top residency program in the world-ours!”

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The eighth grader won the shared title on the word “stichomythia” during the national spelling bee’s live telecast in May. It was the first time in 52 years that there were two winners.

This year’s national championship drew 281 spellers from 8 countries that were competing for the top prize.