September 8, 2006
Contact: Melissa Campbell
UMDNJ Medical Student Receives AMA Scholarship for Promising Students
Hiral Patel one of only 9 recipients nationwide
NEWARK — The American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation awarded Hiral Patel, a fourth-year medical student at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, the Physicians of Tomorrow Scholarship for her academic excellence. She is one of just nine students nationwide to earn this award. Recipients were nominated by their medical school dean and chosen by a selection committee. Each student will receive a $10,000 scholarship to help defray medical school expenses.
After her second year of medical school, Patel, of North Bergen, applied for and was accepted to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Scholars program, a competitive 12-month research program limited to just 40 medical students from across the country. She spent the year at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD developing new ways to enhance the body ’s immune system to cancer.
As the philanthropic arm of the American Medical Association, the Foundation has made it a priority to help medical students handle the rising cost of medical education. The Physicians of Tomorrow Scholarships were created in 2004 to provide financial assistance to medical students facing spiraling medical school debt. On average, medical students in the U.S. graduate with more than $120,000 in debt.
A New Jersey Medical School student has earned a scholarship each year since the program’s inception.
“We must help make medical school more affordable in hopes of recruiting and retaining the best and brightest talent for the profession,” said AMA Foundation President Peter Carmel, M.D. “We are already facing a physician shortage and the cost of medical education should not be such a hurdle to overcome.”
The other recipients are:
Jonathan Amiel, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York
Jaime Cavallo, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh
Ivan Davis, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, Va.
David Edwards, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, N.C.
Marie Jeoboam, Florida State University College of Medicine, Tallahassee, Fla.
Karen Morris, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.
Naima Rehman, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Heather Smith, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Mass.
For more information about the AMA Foundation’s programs, visit www.amafoundation.org.
Founded in 1954 as the Seton Hall College of Medicine and Dentistry, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School was the state’s first medical school. Today, it is part of UMDNJ, the nation’s largest health sciences institution. More than 5,500 students attend the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and a school of public health on five campuses. Annually, there are more than two million patient visits at UMDNJ facilities and faculty at campuses in Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Camden and Stratford. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, a mental health and addiction services network.