VCU School of Medicine scholarships are often created by alumni, faculty or even community members. But in 2015, for the first time, a new medical student scholarship was established by a community-based physicians’ organization, the Richmond Academy of Medicine.
Scholarship recipient Jessica Li (center) with former School of Medicine Dean Jerry Strauss III, M.D., Ph.D., and RAM President Harry D. Bear, M’75, PhD’78, professor of surgery and chair of the Division of Surgical Oncology.
Photography: Skip Rowland
With a gift of $100,000, the academy endowed a scholarship that aims to benefit a top student with financial need who exemplifies the desire, attributes and skills necessary to become a physician leader. The inaugural recipient is Jessica Li, a second-year student who already demonstrates those qualities.
She volunteers with the geriatrics and palliative care student groups and traveled to the Dominican Republic last spring on a relief trip that provided medical and surgical eye care in the underserved community of Santiago. Li put her Spanish skills to use taking vital signs and helping translate for patients before and after their surgeries in days that often lasted more than 12 hours.
The scholarship is renewable; academy leaders are looking forward to getting to know Li as she completes her four-year medical degree. Li will also receive free membership to the academy, which enables her to attend its regular meetings.
This story was first published in Vol. 9 of Impact, the magazine for donors and friends of Virginia Commonwealth University.