WVU medical student receives AMA scholarship

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation has awarded fourth-year West Virginia University School of Medicine student Sharon Maas, of Farmington, Pa., a Physicians of Tomorrow Scholarship.

Maas is one of 10 medical students awarded the scholarship. Each student will receive a $10,000 scholarship to help with the cost of medical school expenses. Recipients were nominated by their medical schools and chosen by a selection committee based on academic standing, financial status, community involvement, letters of recommendation and personal statement.

“I am very grateful to be the recipient of this award,” Maas said. “It will not only assist me greatly in meeting my financial obligations this year, but it also validates my strong belief in the values of compassion and service.”

Created in 2004, the scholarships provide financial assistance to medical students facing medical school debt. On average, medical students in the United States graduate with a debt load of nearly $155,000, according to the AMA. As a result, many medical students may avoid practicing in underserved areas of the country or practicing primary care medicine.

“The Physicians of Tomorrow Scholarship recipients display the characteristics that will provide them a strong foundation as physicians: compassion, intelligence, community involvement and leadership,” AMA Foundation President Richard Hovland said. “By alleviating their debt load, we provide them the financial relief and encouragement they need so they can follow their career interests without regard to income potential.”

Maas has served as president of the Circa Terra Medical Surplus Reclamation Group, collecting medical supplies and equipment for underserved countries around the world. She currently serves on WVU’s Global Health Advisory Committee and will travel to Paraguay for an international rotation next year. She is also the recipient of the Patricia Fedeles Award for Compassion in Physical Diagnosis.

Maas plans to practice family medicine and is interested in opening a clinic for the underserved and under-insured. She is the daughter of Rolf and Mary Maas.

For more information on the AMA see www.amafoundation.com.
To learn more about the WVU School of Medicine see http://www.hsc.wvu.edu/som/.



For more information:
Amy Johns, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
EL: 07-31-09

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