Shared racial identity between physician and patient is one means of tackling health disparities. TMA’s Minority Scholarship Program (tmaloanfunds.com) helps ensure more Black, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American physicians can practice in neighborhoods where many residents share their racial identity.
Each year, one student at each of Texas’ 15 medical schools who is a member of these racial minorities receives a $10,000 scholarship to pursue the dream of becoming a physician. Recipients are selected based on their interest in practicing in underserved areas, along with their community service and leadership.
TMA’s scholarship program is one of only a few available in Texas for underrepresented minority students, as defined by the Association of American Medical Colleges, seeking a career in medicine. The scholarship lessens a student’s financial burden of postgraduate education, which averages more than $175,000.
Fabiola Ramirez, one of the 2021 scholarship recipients, said, “Growing up, my family and I personally experienced the issues and misconceptions that arise when there is a lack of access to quality health care. My motivation to study medicine arose from the desire to address these disparities as a primary care physician.”
Ms. Ramirez said she is thankful for the generosity of individuals who have empowered her to believe in herself through their mentorship and example, and by giving their time and money. She cited her high-school microbiology teacher who recognized her passion for learning and encouraged her to become a better student.
TMA created the Minority Scholarship Program in 1998 to help diversify the physician workforce to meet the health care needs of Texans. It was a unique means to fill a gap brought about by the Hopwood v. Texas ruling barring public medical schools from offering minority-specific scholarships.
Since its inception, the TMA Minority Scholarship Program has given 163 scholarships to underrepresented minority medical students in Texas, totaling more than $1.1 million.
The 2021 scholarship winners were announced in May during TexMed. The 2022 program, now open, will award 15 scholarships to students entering medical school in the fall of that year. If you qualify, apply at tma.tips/MSPApplication. For more information, contact Azalia.firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Minority Scholarship Program is funded by the TMA Foundation (TMAF), the association’s philanthropic arm. Recipients are known as the “Bayardo Scholars” in recognition of the majority support provided by the TMA Foundation Trust Fund of Roberto J. Bayardo, MD, and the late Agniela (Annie) M. Bayardo of Houston. Other generous gifts from H-E-B; St. David's Foundation; and the TMAF Patrick Y. Leung, MD, Minority Scholarship Endowment funded this year's scholarships, as well as TMAF donor physicians and their families, and TMA county medical societies.