36 med students, young physicians recognized as future leaders

Michael Winters , Contributing News Writer

Three dozen students, residents and early career physicians from around the country are being recognized for their commitment to reducing health care disparities and their non-clinical leadership in advocacy, community service and education. Find out who has been awarded this year’s honors.

Growing up, Aaron Doctor had a front-row view of the barriers to health care.

The Gullah Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina are among the nation’s most remote and insular communities. Daily life offered Doctor a range of lessons on coping with a lack of care.

“Often people who are from communities like mine are mistrusting of people that they deem as outsiders, and that’s where I come in,” said Doctor, a student at Morehouse School of Medicine. “A familiar face goes a long way to creating the comfort necessary to build a successful relationship.”

“I’m motivated because I’m a product of a community where social inequality and health disparities are a very real concern,” he said.

That motivation makes Doctor one of this year’s recipients of the Minority Scholars Award, part of the AMA Foundation’s Excellence in Medicine program. The award provides $10,000 scholarships to first- and second-year students who show academic achievement and a commitment to reducing health care disparities.

Scholarship recipients were honored June 10 in Chicago at the 2016 AMA Annual Meeting.

The 21 recipients this year come from groups historically underrepresented in the medical profession, including African-American, American Indian, Native Hawaiian, Alaska Native and Latino. Less than 9 percent of U.S. physicians come from these groups.

Since 2014, one student also has been honored by a scholarship to promote diversity specifically in cardiology. The Dr. Richard Allen Williams and Genita Evangelista Johnson /Association of Black Cardiologists Scholarship recognizes a first- or second-year African-American student with an expressed interest in cardiology.

This year’s Minority Scholars Award list includes students from schools throughout the nation, with a range of cultural experiences:

  • Jemma Alarcon, University of California, Irvine School of Medicine
  • Anya Bazzell, Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Shakira Burton, Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Amanda Compadre, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
  • Elizabeth Dalchand, Stony Brook University School of Medicine
  • Aaron Doctor, Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Mariana Gomez, University of California, Irvine School of Medicine
  • Gerard Holder, Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Maseray Kamara, Michigan State College of Human Medicine
  • Bianca Lizarraga, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
  • Joana Loeza, University of California, San Francisco
  • Mariela Martinez, Ponce Health Sciences University
  • Ana Ortiz Ilizaliturri, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine
  • Maricruz Rivera, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
  • Nancy Rodriguez, University of California, Davis School of Medicine
  • Zena Salim, Michigan State College of Human Medicine
  • Javier Sotelo, Jr., Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California
  • Ashley White-Stern, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons
  • Kelsey Williams, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Greenville
  • Shannon Zullo, University of Arizona, College of Medicine
  • Paris Austell, Rush Medical College (recipient of the Dr. Richard Allen Williams and Genita Evangelista Johnson /Association of Black Cardiologists Scholarship)

Also honored this year were 15 medical students, residents, fellows and early career physicians who received the AMA Foundation’s Leadership Award.

Recipients are recognized for outstanding non-clinical leadership in advocacy, community service and education. The award provides recipients from around the country with training to develop their skills as future leaders in medicine and community affairs.

The winners are:

  • Annalise O. Abiodun, MD, Greater Baltimore Medical Center
  • Rohit Abraham, Michigan State University College of Medicine
  • Eric James Chow, MD, Brown University
  • Anupriya Dayal, Medical College of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Olatokunbo Famakinwa, MD, Yale-New Haven Hospital
  • Cherie Fathy, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
  • Oswaldo Hasbún Avalos, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
  • Leedor Lieberman, Wayne State University School of Medicine
  • David A. Nissan, MD, New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center
  • Ravi Bharat Parikh, MD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • Hunter Pattison, University of Florida College of Medicine
  • Christa Pulvino, Tulane University School of Medicine
  • Nikita Saxena, Boston University School of Medicine
  • Aleesha Shaik, Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Christiana Shoushtari, University of Illinois-Chicago, College of Medicine