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AMA Foundation Names Minority Scholars Award Recipients

Twelve outstanding students receive $10,000 scholarships to help with escalating cost of medical school

CHICAGO, May 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In an effort to promote diversity and help with the rapidly rising cost of medical education, the American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation has presented 12 outstanding medical students from across the country with $10,000 Minority Scholars Awards.

The awards recognize scholastic achievement, financial need and personal commitment to improving minority health among first or second-year medical students in groups defined as "historically underrepresented" in the medical profession. Less than seven percent of U.S. physicians fall within these groups, which include African American/Black, American Indian, Native Hawaiian, Alaska Native and Hispanic/Latino.

"We are pleased to recognize the accomplishments of these promising medical students and to provide them with substantial financial assistance," said Jean Howard, AMA Foundation President. "Their outstanding academic achievements as well as a variety of activities in their communities speak to their commitment to positively impact the health of minority populations and the health care system in the United States."

As the philanthropic arm of the American Medical Association, the AMA Foundation has made it a priority to help medical students handle the rising cost of their education. On average, future physicians graduate approximately $155,000 in debt, and in many cases the debt load is much higher. A large debt burden may deter many from practicing in underserved areas of the country, in medical education and research, or practicing primary care medicine.

The Minority Scholars Awards are given in collaboration with the AMA Minority Affairs Consortium, with support from Pfizer Inc. The National Business Group on Health (NBGH) added support to this scholarship program by starting an endowment honoring the late Ronald M. Davis, MD, Past-President of the AMA. This specific Minority Scholars Award is granted to a minority medical student who has an interest in becoming a primary care physician.

The recipients of the awards are:

Rashad Belin, PhD University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine

Natalie Casagrande University of Kansas School of Medicine

Kofi Essel George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Suzanne Garber University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis

Carl Lambert, Jr. Rush Medical College

Marlene Martin Stanford University School of Medicine

Lisa Ochoa-Frongia Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Elizabeth Phillips Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Kasandra Scales, MPH State University of New York Upstate Medical University

Catalina Soto Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Manuel Tapia University of California, Davis School of Medicine

The recipient of the award funded by the NBGH Ronald M. Davis, MD Memorial Scholarship is:

Lucille Torres Mount Sinai School of Medicine

The AMA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt foundation, is committed to improving the health of Americans through philanthropic support of quality programs in public health and medical education. Visit to learn more.

SOURCE American Medical Association Foundation
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