The nine scholarship recipients were recognized at the recent Texas Medical Association annual TexMed conference in Houston. Demonstrating high academic achievement, commitment to community service, and outstanding health care experience, winners were chosen from a highly competitive field of promising future physicians entering a Texas medical school this fall.
Created to help diversify the physician workforce to fulfill the needs of Texas’ increasingly diverse population, TMA’s Minority Scholarship Program encourages exceptional minority students to enter medicine by lightening the financial burden of medical school. Through the years, TMA has awarded 65 scholarships totaling $325,000 to minority medical students.
This year's nine scholarships were made possible by a grant from TMA Foundation, thanks to generous gifts from physicians, their families and corporate supporters.
Pictured above: Russell WH Kridel, MD, FACS, TMAF President (far left), and Carolyn A. Evans, MD, past chair of the TMA Board of Trustees (far right), with recipients of the 2011 Minority Student Scholarship Victor Jackson, Natalie Diaz, Ernest Juarez, Ana Salazar, Sergio Montano, and Antonio Toribio. Not Pictured: Aziza Kedir, Vanessa Parada, and Sarah Villarreal.
2011 TMA Minority Scholarship Recipients:
Natalie Diaz of Carrollton graduated from Texas Christian University and will enter The University of Texas Houston Health Science Center in the fall. She wants to care for patients in rural Texas as a pediatrician or family physician, and foster a caring doctor-patient relationship, especially with Spanish-speaking patients. Ms. Diaz’s scholarship is provided by a gift from H-E-B.
Victor Jackson of El Paso graduated from Park University in Parkville, Missouri. He will attend The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston this fall. A veteran of the United States Air Force, Mr. Jackson travelled the nation and observed the health difficulties people face when confronted with a shortage of primary care doctors. He plans to practice primary care in an underserved area of Texas to help alleviate this problem. Mr. Jackson’s scholarship is provided by a donation from Catherine L. Scholl, MD, Austin.
Ernest Juarez of Humble graduated from the University of Houston and will begin his medical study at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth this fall. Mr. Juarez plans to practice emergency medicine in the Texas Gulf Coast area and visit schools to educate children on the importance of managing their health. His scholarship is provided by donations from the El Paso, Dallas, and Harris County Medical Societies as well as physicians and their families.
Aziza Kedir of Houston is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma and she will enter The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in the fall. Ms. Kedir plans to be a family physician in the Houston area. She says she is dedicated to preventing the prevalence of chronic diseases through medical care and education. Her scholarship is provided by contributions from Susan M. Pike, MD, Georgetown, Rajam and Somayaji Ramamurthy, San Antonio, the TMA Board of Trustees and physicians who donated at the TMA 2011 Winter Conference.
Sergio Montano of Edinburg graduates in May from Baylor University with a masters degree in biology. He will attend The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas this fall. Mr. Montano plans to practice endocrinology or internal medicine in the Rio Grande Valley and hopes to create rural outreach clinics for patients with inadequate access to health care. His scholarship is provided by a gift from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas.
Vanessa Parada of El Paso graduates in May from Whittier College in California and will attend Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Paul L. Foster School of Medicine in El Paso in the fall. Ms. Parada hopes to practice in communities with health care disparities and promote doctor-patient trust by applying her understanding of Texas’ diverse culture. Her scholarship was provided thanks to gifts from the McLennan and Tarrant County Medical Societies and physicians and their families.
Ana Salazar of Brownsville will graduate from The University of Texas at Brownsville this spring and will attend Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in the fall. Ms. Salazar plans to be a primary care physician and improve the health of the people in the Rio Grande Valley with little or no access to health care. She hopes to educate her patients about medical services available to them, specifically preventative care. The Hidalgo-Starr and Travis County Medical Societies and physicians and their families funded Ms. Salazar’s scholarship.
Antonio Toribio of Bryan graduated from California State University in Fresno, California and will attend Texas A&M University Health Science Center in the fall. He plans to practice as a family physician and improve the health care of Texas’ underserved patients through medical research, teaching, and patient care. Mr. Toribio’s scholarship is provided by Bell County Medical Society and Jim Rohack, MD, and Mrs. Charli Rohack, Bryan.
Sarah Villarreal of Corpus Christi graduated from Cornell University and will attend Baylor College of Medicine in the fall. She plans to practice medicine in the predominately low-income areas of South Texas and give back to the community by providing compassionate health care. Ms. Villarreal’s scholarship was provided through gifts from Wendell D. Daniels, MD, Longview, in honor of Vester Daniels and in memory of Ona Daniels; Donald Johnson, MD, and Mrs. Doris A. Johnson of Roanoke; and physicians and their families.