The George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) awarded half a million dollars in scholarships to four third-year medical students interested in pursuing a career in primary care. The following students were surprised by SMHS leadership with $125,000 scholarships each at the beginning of class yesterday morning:
- Douglas M. Herrin
- Suhavi Tucker
- Daniel Mays
- Margarita Ramos
Making headlines over the last few years, there is an alarming shortage of primary care physicians, nationally and locally. As a career in primary care often comes with a lower salary, many medical students choose to specialize, giving them greater financial security as they consider how to pay off looming medical school loans. However, as primary care doctors are at the front line of health care and are able to interact with patients at a much more personal level, they are often viewed as key members of the health care team.
The scholarship, now in its second year, was established anonymously by two grateful patients of primary care physician Matthew Mintz, M.D. ’94, RESD ‘97, interim assistant dean for curriculum and associate professor of medicine at SMHS.
“This is really a story about an outstanding doctor, Matthew Mintz, and two grateful patients looking to express their gratitude for the care they received,” said Jeffrey S. Akman, M.D. ’81, RESD ’85, Walter A. Bloedorn Professor of Administrative Medicine, vice president for health affairs at GW and dean of SMHS.
“We knew we wanted to use these generous gifts to encourage students to enter the primary care field due to the great need for primary care physicians,” said Mintz.
The selection was based on three criteria: financial need, academic scholarship, and a real dedication toward and interest in the primary care field. Awards are contingent upon a successful match in a Primary Care Residency; Family Medicine, Pediatrics, or Internal Medicine.