The George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) awarded $500,000 in scholarships to four, third-year medical students interested in pursuing a career in primary care. The students — Douglas M. Herrin, Daniel Mays, Margarita Ramos, and Suhavi Tucker — received certificates of their awards, each totaling $125,000, Jan. 28.
Although primary care doctors are at the front line of health care and are often viewed as key members of the health care team, there is an alarming shortage of primary care physicians, nationally, as well as locally. 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, assistant dean for pre-clinical education and associate professor of medicine at SMHS, to support those interested in pursuing the much needed specialty.
“Primary care is the nuts and bolts of medicine,” says Herrin, whose diverse experience spans domestic volunteering, interning at the White House, medical and educational work in Jamaica, and an anti-human trafficking NGO in Belarus. He adds that primary care “is the traditional embodiment of medicine that allows a practitioner to establish a long-term relationship and continuum of care for a patient. In this capacity, the practitioner can act as both counselor and doctor in the healing process.”
“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 an interest in the primary care field. Awards are contingent upon a successful match in a primary care residency, family medicine, pediatrics, or internal medicine residency.