PAMF Physicians Sponsor Students’ Dreams
In keeping with their long commitment to the community, the 1,200 physicians of the Palo Alto Foundation Medical Group (PAFMG) are expanding their Pre-Med Scholarship Program for high-school students who want to become doctors.
"These scholarships serve a dual purpose," Rebecca Leon, M.D., chair of the Scholarship Committee, says. "They help exemplary young scholars fulfill their dream of a medical career and they help address the coming physician shortage. We feel a responsibility to both."
Until recently, the physicians themselves funded all the scholarships. Now the community is being invited to sponsor additional scholars and help meet the growing need for physicians as the Baby Boomers age, health care reform takes shape, and medicine continues to advance.The scholarship has gone to 39 students since 1992, when gastroenterologist Richard Babb, M.D., now retired, started the fund. Nine recipients are now in or have graduated from medical school, some are pursuing other health care careers, and most of the rest are still undergraduates.
Three students per year currently receive the $25,000 scholarship, which is paid out across five years to enrich the recipients’ undergraduate experience.
Applicants must rank in the top 20 percent of their class and demonstrate financial need. Forty four percent of past recipients are the first in their family to go to college. Mentoring from PAMF physicians helps them excel.
"The scholarship recipients are a remarkable group of individuals," Dr. Leon says. "It is very gratifying to be able to support and encourage them."