As a faculty member at the Baylor College of Medicine, one of my greatest joys is meeting our nation’s future doctors. I’ve had the opportunity to interact with high school and college students through their hospital volunteer work, involvement in summer premedical programs, research, and other venues. I love their enthusiasm, and I’m frequently amazed at the types of contributions these students are making.
Recently, I came across a special group of future physicians who were named semifinalists for the National Academy Medical School Scholarship Challenge. One of these 12 semifinalists will win a full scholarship to a U.S. medical school. The award will cover tuition fees up to $185,000. Two runners-up will each receive $10,000.
Semifinalists were chosen from a large group of high school student participants who were asked to identify an unsolved medical/scientific/world health problem, and then design an original investigation to solve that problem. To be eligible for the scholarship, high school students had to attend the Congress of Future Medical Leaders in November, receive the Academy's Award of Excellence, and maintain a GPA of at least 3.5. Eligible students are asked to submit a YouTube video and essay describing their investigation. A judging panel reviews these submissions, and selects the semifinalists.
Heidi Zettl is one of the semifinalists, and you can view her video below.
Other semifinalists include Jennifer Deasy (Ft. Washington, PA), Matthew Quigley (Brighton, IL), Emaya Moss (Haymarket, VA), Gloria Nashed (Windermere, FL), Christian Pollema (North Sioux City, SD), Marissa Witmer (Quarryville, PA), Ruchit Patel (Piscataway, NJ), Armond Dorsey (District Heights, MD), Maxine Heffron (Moreland, GA), Sweta Bhoopatiraju (Minneapolis, MN), and Mekhala Rao (Mason, OH).
Links to the videos of the other semifinalists are available in the National Academy Medical School Scholarship Challenge press release. The official rules for the scholarship challenge are available at the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists.
In sponsoring the challenge, the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists hopes to identify promising medical talent early, and then equip these students with the skills and experiences to achieve their goals in medicine.