Scholarships: A Catalyst for Achieving the Dream of Becoming a Doctor
“I chose University of Maryland School of Medicine, in part, because of this scholarship, but also because of its reputation for patient care and engaging the community,” says Jessica Lee ’21, the Arnold S. Blaustein, MD Scholar, “Because of this scholarship I feel that I can really go after my dreams of becoming a physician and policy-maker who works with underserved families in urban settings.”
The future of medicine depends upon the ability of medical schools to attract the most passionate, gifted students – students who will make an impact in the communities they will serve and those who will shape future healthcare policy and innovation. As medical school tuition continues to rise, the availability of scholarships helps to alleviate financial burdens and open doors for students to pursue medical specialties that drive their passions.
In 1994, the University of Maryland annual in-state tuition rate for the M.D. program was $10,851. By 2016, it more than tripled to $32,662. While the school allocates over $1.8 million each year in merit and need-based scholarships, 69 percent of the class will incur an average debt of more than $154,000 by the time they graduate, according to the most recent data. These numbers represent a staggering trend of physicians who will begin their early careers disadvantaged by debt.
“The Dr. Maurice N. Reid Scholarship has allowed me to pursue experiences that will help me achieve my professional aspirations, such as my internship with the World Health Organization last summer, says recipient, Kavita Bhatnagar ’20, “In addition to providing holistic care for individual patients, I hope to one day design and implement public health programs that improve the well-being of communities in Baltimore and around the world. I cannot wait for what the future holds.”
Scholarships can remove the obligation to pay back loans that might otherwise influence a student’s career choice, leading some to choose a medical specialty with the highest potential salary instead of the area of medicine that is best suited for their natural skills, abilities and interests. Scholarships can also provide students with the ability to pursue unlimited opportunities, such as internships or research, that expand their learning experience.
"Last summer I had the opportunity, in part because of this scholarship, to take an unpaid internship at the National Institutes of Health doing clinical research on Hepatitis C," says grateful student, Sanjay Chainani ’19, "That was a wonderful opportunity that was made directly possible by the Jacob B. and Shirley K. Mandel scholarship."
Giving Back to Make Future Dreams Possible
When asked why he decided to create a scholarship fund, Maurice Reid, ’99, said his decision was about giving back. "The University of Maryland School of Medicine set me on a professional trajectory that allowed me to become the man I am today,” Reid explains, “I am so proud and blessed to give back to the school because it has given so much to me.”
Scholarships pave the way for bright, enthusiastic students—regardless of background or economic circumstance—to attend and excel in medical school and pursue careers in all fields of medicine that will benefit humankind.
“I would not have been able to go to Maryland if it hadn’t been for the great financial aid I received,” says Arnold S. Blaustein, ’66 about establishing his scholarship, “ I thought I should give back – return the favor, if you will – and help other students in the way that I received help.”
We invite you to join your fellow alumni/ae to pay it forward through the “Making Dreams Possible” Scholarship Campaign. By making a gift to create your own legacy through a named scholarship, or by supporting our Physicians of Today and Tomorrow Scholarship Fund, you will help to relieve the debt burden our students face and give them the opportunity to go after their dreams. For more information, please contact Marjorie Bray at 410-706- 0418 or firstname.lastname@example.org.