By Dr. Samir Desai
After being diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at the age of 4, Hyram Judd completed four years of chemotherapy, and has been in remission ever since. Now a third-year medical student at Midwestern University in Arizona, he is grateful to the Beyond the Cure Scholarship Program for providing him with the monetary support to reach his professional goals.
Hyram is certainly not alone in having experienced personal illness prior to medical school. When I read over AMCAS and ERAS applications for medical school and residency, I am struck by how many applicants have been motivated to pursue a career in medicine because of major personal illness or major illness of a loved one.
Sometimes, significant life stressors occur during medical school. A survey of students at three medical schools found that 37% had experienced at least one major negative personal life event in the previous 12 months. These events included major personal illness, major illness of a loved one, and death in the family.
A number of scholarship programs are available to help students overcome the hardships of personal or family illness. These programs understand that pursuing career goals can be very difficult under these circumstances.
180 Medical Scholarship (for those with spinal cord injury, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, neurogenic bladder, or ostomy (ileostomy, colostomy, or urostomy)
AbbVie CF Scholarship (for those with cystic fibrosis)
CMMS Deshae Lott Ministries Scholarship (for those with physical disabilities)
Elizabeth Nash Foundation Scholarship Program (for those with cystic fibrosis)
Ina Brudnick Award (for those who have undergone ostomy surgery and/or have ulcerative colitis or Crohn disease)
Jackie Spellman Scholarship (for those who have been impacted in some way by leukemia or lymphoma, either as survivors, individuals diagnosed with leukemia or lymphoma, or individuals who have a member of his or her immediate family who have or had leukemia or lymphoma while living in the same household)
Joshua Gomes Memorial Scholarship Fund (for those who are HIV positive or have AIDS)
NCCF Scholarship Program (young adult cancer survivor)
UCB Family Epilepsy Scholarship Program (for people living with epilepsy, family members, and/or caregivers)
Matthew Debono Memorial Scholarships (for those who have been diagnosed with a bone marrow failure disease, specifically aplastic anemia, MDS or PNH)