VCU’s Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services honored the School of Medicine’s Priyam Vyas with the University Leadership Award for his commitment to improving lives in Richmond and abroad.
“Priyam is the type of student that makes VCU School of Medicine proud,” said Chris Woleben, M.D., the School of Medicine’s Associate Dean of Student Affairs and graduate of the medical school’s Class of 1997. “Starting in his undergraduate experience and continuing into medical school, Priyam has actively been involved in a variety of student activities while frequently assuming leadership positions.”
Vyas came to Richmond as a VCU freshman in 2006. By virtue of his acceptance into the university’s Guaranteed Admittance program, he looked forward to his eventual acceptance into the medical school if he maintained his GPA and met other program criteria for health care and volunteer experience.
As an undergraduate student, Vyas studied the Richmond Ambulance Authority and worked to replicate the system in Gujarat, India, a city that had no previous ambulance service. He applied his knowledge and received government funding in India. Thanks to Vyas’ efforts, Gujarat now has three ambulances.
Now a member of the Class of 2014, Vyas has served as the graduate representative on the Board of Visitors and as president of both the medical school’s ENT Student Interest Group and the David Hume Surgical Society. In those student organizations, he has worked to inform his peers about their chosen specialties by connecting them with alumni.
Vyas said that because his medical training connects him closely with many people, it gives him a unique perspective on leadership.
“I feel like doctors are in a unique position to lead, because we connect with people on such a personal level,” Vyas said. “We have insight into people’s lives. We know them truly inside and out, and I believe we’ll make the best leaders because we can represent people best.”